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In Ambulances, an Unseen, Unwelcome Passenger: COVID-19

26 Jan 2021 8:59 AM | AIMHI Admin (Administrator)

AP Source Article | Comments Courtesy of Matt Zavadsky

OUTSTANDING report by AP’s Stefanie Dazio!  Message is spot on, depiction fully accurate, and images are excellent!

EMS providers face this real enemy every day – and just like the rest of the healthcare system, are stretched beyond belief across America.

These heroes have earned, and deserve our thanks, our respect, and our support!!

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In Ambulances, an Unseen, Unwelcome Passenger: COVID-19

By STEFANIE DAZIO

January 25, 2021 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It’s crowded in the back of the ambulance.

Two emergency medical technicians, the patient, the gurney — and an unseen and unwelcome passenger lurking in the air.

For EMTs Thomas Hoang and Joshua Hammond, the coronavirus is constantly close. COVID-19 has become their biggest fear during 24-hour shifts in California’s Orange County, riding with them from 911 call to 911 call, from patient to patient.

They and other EMTs, paramedics and 911 dispatchers in Southern California have been thrust into the front lines of the national epicenter of the pandemic. They are scrambling to help those in need as hospitals burst with a surge of patients after the holidays, ambulances are stuck waiting outside hospitals for hours until beds become available, oxygen tanks are in alarmingly short supply and the vaccine rollout has been slow.

EMTs and paramedics have always dealt with life and death — they make split-second decisions about patient care, which hospital to race to, the best and fastest way to save someone — and now they’re just a breath away from becoming the patient themselves.

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