March 13, 2023
Emergency room visits declined 30 percent.
Hospital admissions dropped by an amazing 60 percent.
That’s the impact that the Community Resource Paramedicine program is having in Gainesville, Florida. This new approach to collaborative community health care has been a game-changer for so many people in the region.
As we got to know the Gainesville first responder community ahead of the opening of the NHRA race season, it’s been amazing to hear these stories. So we are honored to select Shane Stocking, the CRP program’s first-ever full-time firefighter/paramedic, as our first Community Hero of the season.
In recognizing Shane and the other members of the CRP program, we’re also taking the opportunity to raise awareness about very real issues within the local first responder community.
So far, in 2023, two firefighters and one sheriff’s deputy in the region have lost their lives to suicide.
The Fire Dept. Coffee team, along with NHRA superstar Antron Brown, visited Stocking at Fire Station No. 1 in Gainesville to distribute coffee and hand out some of our very first Charity of the Month shirts.
Throughout March, $5 from every Charity of the Month Shirt Club will benefit first responders in the Gainesville area, helping provide mental health and PTSD awareness support.
“We’ve lagged behind in promoting our own mental health by talking about it and seeking help and fixing it,” Stocking told Gainesville’s ABC News affiliate last week. “So I’m excited I know the rest of the firefighters and police officers here in Gainesville are excited.”
Shane spent years as a firefighter in California before moving across the country and settling in Gainesville. He had just completed his orientation with Gainesville Fire Rescue when he volunteered for his position with the Community Resource Program.
The program began in 2014 when Gainesville Fire Rescue noticed a significant increase in 911 calls, and they realized they were visiting the same people day after day, often taking them to the hospital over and over again.
They discovered that often the issue was a social problem rather than a medical problem. So the program pairs firefighters/paramedics with CRP Resource Technicians, who are emergency medical technicians, also trained as health care workers.
The combination of skill sets allows them to approach the patient’s issues from medical and social perspectives. As a firefighter/paramedic, Shane serves as the medical eyes and ears, while the Resource Technicians focus on case management.
The program connects patients to primary care, provides mobile integrated health, medical support, and education, and collaborates with community-based organizations to provide social resources like food, clothing, and financial assistance. The program has grown to include response to overdoses, homeless outreach, and prevention.
Shane works within all four of the program’s pillars, including Chronic Disease Management, Recovery Response, Homeless Outreach and Prevention, and Community Health. He has played an integral part in many of our patients in the program becoming housed, being successfully admitted into treatment facilities, and being able to be medically treated at home.
Along with his daily patient visits, Shane also services as a firefighter/paramedic on a weekly basis. He helps oversee and educate 20- 25 undergraduate and graduate-level interns from the University of Florida each semester.
Not only that, he is constantly working with Gainesville Fire Rescue firefighters, staff, and interns to provide continuing education. In January, he became one of the pilot paramedics for a new tele-911 program.
Shane brings a can-do attitude to work every day. He is always willing to step up and help whenever and wherever he’s needed.
Outside of work, he’s a dedicated husband and father to three little girls. Yet he still finds time to mentor youth through his church and participate in medical mission trips.
So we’re honored to recognize him as our first Community Hero — and to celebrate every member of the first responder community. He's doing amazing things for Gainesville and the surrounding areas.
It’s our honor to help him take care of the community and each other.
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