News Headlines Article

They Make House Calls
Oakland Magazine

Patrick Corder, a firefighter and paramedic with the Alameda Fire Department and Emergency Services, doesn’t wait for people to call 911. He calls them first. On a typical Monday morning in late March, his call list was growing quickly. There was the 81-year-old woman with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who needed help getting in to see a primary-care physician, and the 46-year-old man with pneumonia who had been discharged from the hospital on Friday but had not picked up his antibiotic yet, plus the 73-year-old man recently hospitalized with sepsis, a life-threatening infection, who had fainted at home the week before due to a medication side effect.

Most critical this day, Corder wanted to locate a 56-year-old homeless man with a host of chronic disorders including congestive heart failure. There had been a fire in a transitional housing unit in the city over the weekend, a place where this man sometimes stayed, and Corder wanted to be sure he was safe.