Who: TransCare Medical Transportation Services, a division of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, has expanded its Baker/Marchman Act transportation services to include transferring students from Pasco County Public Schools to mental health receiving facilities.
Why this is important: People who require the use of the Baker Act have often lost the power of self-control, and are at risk of inflicting harm to themselves or others. Transportation for these behavioral health emergencies are commonly done by police officers. This new partnership allows for Pasco County Public School students to be transported in a TransCare van by staff who specialize in this type of transport.
TAMPA, Fla., June 30, 2021 – TransCare Medical Transportation Services has established a partnership with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office to manage all Baker Act transports initiated at Pasco County Public Schools.
It is common in Florida for these transports to be done in the back of patrol cars, even though these individuals have not committed a crime and are not being arrested. TransCare has an initial contract to provide these services throughout the remainder of the year.
When a student is on a Pasco County Public School campus and needs to be Baker Acted, the school resource officer contacts TransCare to request a transport. TransCare staff report to the designated school and safely transport the student to a Baker Act receiving facility for evaluation. TransCare has two vehicles stationed within Pasco County during school hours for easy travel throughout the county.
“At the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, we feel very strongly that an individual experiencing a behavioral health crisis deserves trauma informed care throughout the process. Our Behavioral Health transportation staff receive extensive training in mental health first aid and de-escalation techniques so they can provide immediate support and ensure the student is safely transferred to where they will receive the help they need,” said Clara Reynolds, President & CEO of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.
“The Pasco Sheriff’s Office recognizes the stigma that can be associated with those who are in crisis when they are transported in a law enforcement vehicle,” Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said. “To end this stigma while making sure those who need resources are able to access them, we are proud to work with private transportation for our students on campuses across the county who are in crisis and need emergency mental health evaluations.”
Since implementing this program in February 2021, Pasco Sheriff’s deputies have been able to utilize this program on 54 occasions, reducing the stigma and trauma related to a Baker Act while assisting those in need.
About the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay
The mission of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay is to ensure that no one in our community has to face crisis alone. The organization is the community’s gateway to help, hope, and healing, and is Tampa Bay’s elite provider of crisis and trauma services. Responding to over 170,000 requests for help each year, the nonprofit agency offers a range of evidence based programs designed to meet community needs:
• Corbett Trauma Center (trauma counseling and sexual assault survivor services)
• Gateway Contact Center (2-1-1: suicide prevention, crisis counseling, and information and referral services)
• TransCare (9-1-1 emergency and mental health ambulance services, medical van transportation, community paramedicine)
For more information about the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, please visit www.crisiscenter.com
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