Introduction To Community Paramedicine

Community Paramedicine Explained

EMSA Director, Dr. Howard Backer quoteCommunity Paramedicine (CP) is an innovative and evolving model of community-based healthcare designed to provide more effective and efficient services at a lower cost. Community Paramedicine allows paramedics to function outside their traditional emergency response and transport roles to help facilitate more appropriate use of emergency care resources while enhancing access to primary care for medically underserved populations.

Community Paramedics are licensed paramedics who have received specialized training in addition to general paramedicine training and work within a designated Community Paramedicine program under local medical control as part of a community-based team of health and social services providers. Paramedics are uniquely positioned for expanded roles as they are geographically dispersed in nearly all communities, inner-city and rural; always available; work in home and communCalifornia's CP Goalsity-based settings; are trusted and accepted by the public; are trained to make health status assessments; recognize and manage life-threatening conditions outside of the hospital; and operate under medical control as part of an organized, systems approach to care.

The California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA), working in partnership with the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) is conducting 13 Community Paramedicine  pilot projects in a dozen California locations. The projects focus on providing services where access to healthcare is limited or when a short-term intervention is needed. It is not meant to supersede or replace any health programs that are already available in the community. California’s two-year project began in 2015 and allows organizations to test and evaluate new or expanded roles for paramedics along with healthcare delivery alternatives. The California project was authorized by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development’s (OSHPD) Health Workforce Pilot Project Program in 2014.


Pilot Project Concepts


The goal of the post discharge project concept is to avoid unnecessary EMS transports, ED visits, and hospital readmissions.


The goals of the alternate destination project concept are to relieve emergency room overcrowding, reduce costs, transport patients to care sites appropriate to meet their needs, and increase emergency services availability and options for the community.



The goals of the frequent 911 project concept are to connect frequent 911 callers with services best able to address their needs, reduce costs, and reduce burdens on EDs from patients whose needs are better served by non-emergency aspects of health care or by the social system.



The goal of the hospice project concept is to provide hospice patients with the medical care and the support necessary to remain in their location of choice, rather than being transported to an emergency medical facility.



The goal of the public health collaboration project concept is to provide more efficient and effective healthcare of TB patients by partnering specially trained Community Paramedics with public health department case workers.



The goals of the behavioral health project concept are to provide behavioral health patients with the most effective, efficient and timely care possible, ease ED overcrowding, reduce the number of patient transfers, and lower hospital and EMS system costs.



The goals of the Sobering Center project concept are to provide patients with the most effective, efficient and timely care possible, ease ED overcrowding, reduce the number of patient transfers, and lower hospital and EMS system costs. By taking patients to the most appropriate facility for care.




Community Paramedicine Symposium

In concert with the California Health Care Foundation, EMSA hosted a symposium in September of 2016 that featured a number of presenters on topics including financial sustainability, data evaluations, and discussions on individual pilot sites. In addition to presenters’ presentations, video segments of the symposium provided below:


For questions regarding Community Paramedicine, please contact:

Lou Meyer
Project Manager
Community Paramedicine-Mobile Integrated Healthcare
Office: (916) 431-3709
Sean Trask
Chief, Personnel Standards, EMSA
Phone: (916) 431-3689