The Worcester County Health Department, in partnership with the Town of Ocean City Fire Department, has launched a “Safe Station” in Ocean City at the 15th Street Fire Station to provide immediate assistance to individuals seeking a path to recovery. The station is open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week for any individuals seeking treatment services.
“This is another pathway for anyone in Worcester who needs help with addiction, another tool in our toolbox for connecting people to services,” said Mike Trader, behavioral health program assistant director for Worcester County Health Department.
“Individuals looking to start their recovery journey can walk into any of our health department sites while they are open and we will connect them to treatment. The major benefit from the Safe Station project is that the station is open 24/7. When people are ready to start recovery we want to be there to help, whether it’s 9 pm or 9 am.”
The Safe Station on 15th Street opened earlier this summer and has already assisted several individuals seeking treatment. The partnership with the Ocean City Fire Department means there will always be basic medical services available for someone coming into the station looking for help. After an individual comes into the station in search of recovery services, the Safe Stations team works with the client to find the best treatment path forward.
“We modeled Safe Stations on existing programs in other parts of the State, including the system currently in place in Anne Arundel County,” said Jennifer LaMade, Director, Planning, Quality and Core Services for the Worcester County Health Department. “We saw, historically, that people seeking recovery often found fire stations very approachable and easy-to-access, making the Ocean City Fire Department a perfect partner for this program.”
This first Safe Station was placed in Ocean City due to the majority of opioid overdoses in Worcester happening in the northern half of the county. Depending on the need and the resources available, Safe Stations may expand to other sections of the county after the initial pilot program is complete.
For more information on the Safe Station project or recovery resources available in Worcester County, call 410-632-1100 or visit worcesterhealth.org.