Richmond Hill Fire starts initiative to help those battling addiction

Richmond Hill Fire starts initiative to help those battling addiction

RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WTOC) - The Richmond Hill Fire Department is looking to help those who are battling addiction.

The department recently launched a new safe space initiative, for people to come to the fire department and receive help at any time. Whether it’s 2 a.m. or 3 a.m., Richmond Hill Fire Chief Brendon Greene says anyone who is battling any type of addiction can come to either of their stations and receive help no questions asked and without any law enforcement involved.

Chief Greene said when doing research before kick starting the initiative, the department found that most people who are battling addiction usually realize they want help when no one is awake.

The way it works is someone comes to either station and receives a quick evaluation to see what type of assistance they may need and then the department calls the Mobile Crisis Response to get them the help they need.

He said by allowing people to take advantage of their safe stations at any time, they hope it will be able to save at least one life. Anyone who does decide to get on the road to recovery using their initiative will remain anonymous.

Green said the program has been in the works for about eight months. In that time, they met with hospitals and even people who were addicted to drugs or alcohol themselves, to see what would be effective.

"It's critical that our program is not just the first step. We want to make sure that they don't just come to our station, get transported somewhere and left. We want to make sure that every step of the process is followed through because we truly want to make a difference and saving one life would make it all worth it for us,” Greene said.

So far, Greene said they have not had anyone take advantage of the program yet.

The program kicked off Saturday. The hope is it will expand to other surrounding cities as well.

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