The Bernalillo County Department of Behavioral Health Services announces the launch of Fire Mobile Crisis Teams (FMCT). The program is a joint collaboration with the City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County Fire Department, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, and Albuquerque Police Department. The Fire Mobile Crisis Teams is the newest Behavioral Health Initiative (BHI) program. The program will fill a gap in the continuum of care by ensuring that individuals experiencing a crisis, who do not need law enforcement, receive rapid supports to address immediate behavioral health needs, have improved individual outcomes, and are connected to the most appropriate level of care.
The teams are comprised of one behavioral health clinician and one Paramedic who respond to lower level, 911 crisis calls for adults, adolescents, and their families at the request of on-scene law enforcement agencies who have deemed the scene safe and appropriate. The paramedic and the behavioral health provider will work closely to assess the basic physical needs, provide onsite mental health assessment, and intervention supports for individuals in acute crisis stemming from a mental health related issue.
“Through the success of the Mobile Crisis Teams, here in Bernalillo County and throughout the nation, we understand how vital crisis teams are as a resource for the community and law enforcement in provide a clinical response to anyone experiencing, or at risk of, a behavioral health crisis. We also understand that there are some instances where law enforcement is not necessary and, in these instances, FMCT can fill that need and ensure that law enforcement resources are efficiently utilized. This collaborative approach ensures that we are maximizing resources and effectively supporting the community.” says County Commissioner Charlene Pyskoty.
Team members are certified in enhanced crisis intervention training which ensures the utilization of de-escalation techniques and safety assessments to defuse the crisis and maintain the individual in the community whenever possible, reducing the risk of arrests as a result of mental illness, limiting emergency room visits, eliminating costly ambulance transports and eliminating any excessive usage of resources.