ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix Fire, mayor making dementia training a priority

Jun 17, 2019, 4:25 AM | Updated: 8:51 am
(Twitter/@PHXFire)...
(Twitter/@PHXFire)
(Twitter/@PHXFire)

PHOENIX — During her first State of the City address, Mayor Kate Gallego announced the fire department is on its way to making Phoenix a dementia-friendly city.

With the number of people with the condition expected to grow 45% by 2025, the department has already seen an uptick of dementia playing a role in its calls.

“Dementia is a growing health crisis in our community,” Gallego told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday.

“Most of the people with dementia, 80%, live at home. That means oftentimes our firefighters are called upon to assist people when things go wrong.

“We want them to have the best training possible and understand and recognize the symptoms.”

Phoenix Fire Capt. Benjamin Santillan is one of the leaders of the training that is being implemented department wide.

“Unless you walk into those shoes and understand what that individual is going through, you truly don’t understand how important it is to have patience and be calm, using that approach,” he told KTAR News on Friday.

With 1,700 Phoenix firefighters already trained in dementia, they hope to better treat some of the most vulnerable and misunderstood in the community.

“We decided with Hospice of the Valley to use their simulation of sensitivity,” Santillan said.

“We are placing our members in a situation of having dementia – that’s just simple ear phones, taking away a part of their vision.”

The training also includes communication techniques so firefighters can gain details about patients who could be shaken up while also having a larger underlying health condition.

Santillan has dedicated much of his time to constructing videos that will be sent department wide as a teaching tool. The videos will consist of simulations with families of loved ones who suffer from dementia as well as the patients themselves in different scenarios.

The city hopes these videos, training, and the raised awareness will help lessen the stigma that goes along with the disease.

Santillan knows firsthand the heartache it can bring.

“This will touch almost everyone, at some point,” he said.

“My grandmother just passed and she had Alzheimer’s disease. Plus, my other grandmother, she has Alzheimer’s alongside vascular dementia.”

“The disease is impressive,” he said. “It is sadly impressive to see what it can do to someone you love. But if firefighters can see it firsthand themselves, we can provide even better treatment.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Arizonan sentenced for Vegas-based scheme targeting migrants

An Arizona man who convinced recent immigrants from to pay him thousands of dollars each to help them gain U.S. citizenship has been sentenced to nearly six years in prison.
1 day ago
(Twitter Photo/@MesaPD)...
KTAR.com

Mesa driver taken to hospital after vehicle strikes pole, crashes into canal

A driver in Mesa was taken to the hospital after their vehicle struck a street light and crashed into an irrigation canal Saturday.
1 day ago
(Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

Arizona man sentenced for threatening a Social Security judge

A Willcox man has received a more than 25-month sentence for threatening to assault a federal employee on Monday.
1 day ago
(Facebook photo/City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department)...
Tom Kuebel

Papago Park in Phoenix introduces ADA-approved fishing dock

The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department introduced a new fishing dock approved by guidelines set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
1 day ago
(Mesa Fire Photo)...
KTAR.com

Helicopter makes emergency landing in Mesa, no one injured

A single-engine light helicopter made an emergency landing in a residential Mesa neighborhood early Saturday morning.
1 day ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Man found guilty of murder, kidnapping of Tucson girl

A man accused of abducting and killing two young Tucson girls separately and dumping their bodies was convicted Friday of first-degree murder and kidnapping.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Phoenix Fire, mayor making dementia training a priority