(KRON) — The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District is implementing a new program that will “provide the right care at the right time” in response to behavioral health emergencies in the City of San Ramon, according to a recent statement from the SRVFPD. Officials said San Ramon Valley Fire and EMS resources will be able to respond to these types of incidents within seven minutes.

The Fire First Response program announced on Oct. 5 was designed to improve 911 caller experience, improve patient outcomes and improve system-wide efficiency, SRVFPD said. Mental health specialist training was provided to over 200 fire personnel and San Ramon Police Department staff in the first phase of its implementation. This training emphasized de-escalation techniques, which would be provided when a patient is recognized to be experiencing a behavioral health crisis, officials said.

In the second phase of implementing the program, the San Ramon Valley 911 center partnered with the Contra Costa Crisis Center to transfer behavioral health emergency patients for telephonic crisis intervention. The second phase went into effect for 911 calls in San Ramon as of Jan. 9, 2023.

Starting Oct. 2, the final phase was initiated, where SRVFPD personnel will contact the patient in person with San Ramon PD staged nearby as a secondary responder if needed. Fire personnel will apply de-escalation techniques in these Fire First Response situations, officials said.

The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District said the new program is the first of its kind to recognize behavioral health incidents as medical emergencies.