The Los Angeles City Council passed a motion Wednesday aimed at creating a volunteer emergency medical corps tasked with providing medical services to homeless Angelenos.
The motion was introduced in October by Councilman Joe Buscaino and seconded by Councilman Gil Cedillo.
"LA, as we know, is home to a large number of major research and teaching hospitals with thousands of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals,'' Buscaino said before the vote. "Yet, over 1,000 unhoused Angelenos die on our streets every year. We have got to look at ways of mobilizing this human capital onto our streets and organizing a volunteer medical corps to help provide medicine to the unhoused.''
In the motion, Buscaino noted that unhoused people don't have access to regular preventative care and have to rely on emergency room visits and Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics to get primary care.
Get Southern California news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC LA newsletters.
"Given the large number of trained medical professionals in the region, it is appropriate for the city to investigate the feasibility of establishing a volunteer medical corps, to work in concert with LAFD, to provide non-emergency street medicine services to unhoused residents,'' the motion states. "This could potentially reduce the demand for LAFD emergency medical services and provide higher level care to those on the street."
The motion, which passed 11-0, instructs the city administrative officer and the LAFD to report on recommendations to establish a volunteer emergency medical corps in the city.