The last several months have clearly demonstrated the importance of EMS in the community. It was “all hands on deck” as we mobilized to handle hundreds of 911 calls related to the Covid-19 virus. Our operations never skipped a beat. We increased staffing and had supervisors respond with crews to handle responses as safely as possible. We expended a tremendous amount of funds to secure hard to find personal protective equipment and decontamination supplies. Our Paramedics and EMTs had to rapidly adjust their approach to patient care and transportation. Protocols were constantly changing in order to minimize exposure and contamination while maximizing patient care. Our brave staff went to call after call risking their own safety to render care and transport patients. These heroic men and women entered homes to care for some of the sickest patients we have ever encountered. We sometimes discovered numerous family members suffering from the virus at the same location. Having the most advanced medical equipment and training was often no match for this pandemic. We found ourselves helping families come to grips with understanding how sick their loved ones were. Then we had to inform them that they couldn’t accompany them to the hospital. We became counselors, informing families that they may lose their loved one to this virus. We often encouraged families to spend a few minutes in the back of an ambulance with their loved ones before we transported them.
Our community has supported us in ways we have never experienced before. The outpouring of encouragement and concern was humbling. It truly energized us to continue our mission while facing such an unprecedented challenge. So many individuals and families reached out to ask what they could do to help. Local governmental representatives, business owners and civic organizations contacted us in support. Food, gift cards and notes of encouragement were received daily. That support meant so much to our weary staff.