- Associated Press - Monday, May 5, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The Albuquerque Fire Department is putting a new emphasis on preventative health care that Fire Chief David Downey hopes will reduce the number of hospital visits and admissions of people with chronic conditions.

Downey tells the Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/1kClGcO ) that the department is becoming more proactive by trying to identify hazards for the elderly and substance abusers and to find alternative to emergency-room visits.

Downey says one possibility would be to send a firefighter and social worker to the homes of people recently discharged from the hospital to follow up and check on the people involved.

He says the emphasis on preventative health care fits with the approach of the federal health care overhaul.