Firefighter/paramedic Dave Stepp calls San Diego fire engine company 7 a "groundhog day" because of the number of frequent users the company sees on 911 calls. The same people, going to the emergency room multiple times in the same day. Frequent flyers are on track to cost taxpayers $20 million dollars in 2011, and while the firefighters are busy going back time and time again, resources are strained for other emergencies.
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For most people, the emergency room is a place that they have seldom seen as a patient. The average person may visit the ER a handful of times in a lifetime. For some, it can be a daily routine. Frequent users of the emergency system seldom find it a replacement for necessary primary care, and the weight that it puts on doctors and staff can affect their ability to operate smoothly amonst life threatening situations.
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Joan Kloh has lived on the streets for nearly three years and her alcoholism has nearly cost her life and freedom. She ran up more than $50,000 in public cost for her emergency room visits in the first six months of 2011 alone. Now she is getting the help that she needs to gain independence from her 911 use, and have another chance at life.
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What is it like to ride a bull? Cowboys risk injury and even death for a feeling that only they can understand.