Regional & Community Relations

April 15, 2021

Health One, a new kind of 9-1-1 response team, expands in the U District

Earlier this week, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Fire Chief Harold Scoggins announced the launch of a second Health One unit to expand the program to the U District. Health One is a 9‑1‑1 response team comprised of firefighters/EMTs and case managers who are specifically trained to help people experiencing mental illness, substance use disorder and non-emergency medical issues.

With the second Health One unit becoming operational on April 15, the program will now cover the U District and Ballard in addition to the downtown core and Capitol Hill.

Each Health One unit includes two firefighters/EMTs and one case manager from the Human Services Department Aging and Disability Services Division. Unlike other emergency responders, the Health One units can spend more time with the individual in distress and connect them with the services that will help them remain stable after the team leaves the scene. This could include providing the individual a referral to a shelter, helping them schedule a next-day appointment or supplying them food and clothing.

Health One dovetails with the U District Partnership’s existing outreach program operated by REACH. The REACH Care Coordinator, David Delgado, works with individuals experiencing homelessness and mental illness to help them achieve stability. Through daily outreach and ongoing relationship building, David helps homeless neighbors access essential resources including housing, health care and treatment.