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Chicago First Responders Train with Hospitals on Dealing with Mentally Ill Subjects

Chicago first responders, including police, fire and EMS, along with 911 dispatchers, are partnering with local hospitals to conduct live simulation crisis intervention training to help with the city’s emergency response to people with mental illness. The eight-hour SIMLAB scenario-based course is designed to stimulate communication and collaboration between stakeholders to create more positive outcomes for those suffering from a mental health crisis.

“This is a ground-breaking program,” said Chicago Fire Department Commissioner Jose Santiago. The course will help first responders identify the key signs and symptoms of an acute mental health crisis and develop protocols for screening, evaluating and transporting patients. This effort will build on training that has already enhanced the understanding first responders have when dealing with mentally challenged individuals.

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