The Austin Fire Department stopped by neighborhoods and conducted free in-home fire safety and wellness checks. It's a new initiative they hope will get people thinking more about their health.
The idea started off as a vision for Assistant Fire Chief Richard Davis. "We did some surveys back in June to see if these neighborhoods would be interested in programs like this. We got a 98% approval rate of wanting this program," said Davis.
The Austin Fire Department launched their Red Angles Program Saturday, three teams comprised of firefighters and nurses drove through Colony Park, Del Valle and Del Springs making scheduled stops.
"People called us signed up via email so we established a list of folks," said Davis.
The goal is to give people free in-home fire safety and wellness visits, while sharing information about where and how people can get low income health services. "You know I can't get to the hospital or I don't even have a doctor we share that information with some of our partners we will contact that resident and say 'hey here's an avenue you can get doctor services here's an avenue you can get dental work here's an avenue you can get your vision checked," said Davis.
Basic wellness checks were conducted on patients including Carlos Yasyanez. "I came from Mexico so we don't know a lot of the programs that can be done for free. They come to the house for free and they help find the right information. And if you don't speak any English it's not a problem because they also speak Spanish," said Yasyanez.
He had his blood pressure, pulse, glucose and body temperature all checked from the comfort of his home. "If I'm not healthy how am I going to take care of my family?" said Yasyanez.
With a goal in mind the Red Angles visited 50 homes, program leaders are hoping to reach 100 homes in one year. "If we can get people in the habit of understanding their health and wanting to improve their health they can migrate onto other things and do these regular checkups available to him," said Davis.
Along with health checks AFD checked smoke detectors in homes. Ensuring homeowners had up to date working detectors. "Schedule an appointment let us know you're interested we will be out there to your home to check you out," said Davis.