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Why some 911 calls in Las Vegas are rerouted to nurses

Emergency dispatchers in Las Vegas can now reroute nonemergent 911 calls to nurses through a new pilot program, reports Fox5 Las Vegas.

Of more than 600,000 calls Las Vegas Fire and Rescue received last year, about 200,000 did not involve emergencies. To address these nonemergent calls, the agency rolled out a nurse hotline, which it sees as "the urgent care version of 911."

Nurses on the hotline help 911 callers who are seeking medical advice but don't need an ambulance. They can also send a Lyft to patients who need medical care, but don't have access to transportation.

The hotline has already saved Las Vegas thousands of dollars, as it costs about $1,000 every time an emergency response unit leaves the station. The hotline also frees up emergency workers to respond to more severe calls. 

Las Vegas Fire and Rescue said the program will likely stay in a pilot phase for two more years. The final aim is to create a separate 24/7 nurse hotline, so patients don't have to call 911 first to reach a nurse.

More articles on patient flow:
6 hospitals ending maternity services
Illinois hospital to end inpatient labor, delivery services May 31
Vermont hospital closes 105-year-old birthing unit

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