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Las Cruces Fire to launch new crisis intervention program

“The team will respond to residents suffering from mental health emergencies, assist with de-escalating critical situations, and help individuals connect with the medical or psychological resources they may need,” according to a news release issued by the City of Las Cruces.

Project LIGHT will operate from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. six days a week, Monday through Saturday. The LCFD is hosting an open house to introduce the team to community partners at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 2, at Fire Station 1, 201 E. Picacho Ave.

“Project LIGHT has two teams that each include a certified firefighter-paramedic and a licensed social worker. When called upon, the team will respond to critical incidents alongside first responders such as Las Cruces police and fire personnel,” according to the release.

LCFD Battalion Chief, Mathew Hiles, says the teams are well prepared to intervene in traumatic situations, assist people through crises and help connect them with resources within the community that can help long-term.

Project LIGHT is funded by the City of Las Cruces and was recently awarded $1 million in federal grants. U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan were both instrumental in securing the federal funding.