SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA) — As emergency rooms throughout San Bernardino County refill with coronavirus sufferers, ambulances are being pressured to line up in entrance of ERs and wait generally hours with secure sufferers inside.
To assist deal with considerations, the county plans to ship fewer ambulances out to calls, reserving them just for life-threatening emergencies, reminiscent of bother respiration resulting from coronavirus and different illnesses.
“We need to do our greatest to decompress these services, permit them to look after the sick sufferers and to catch up in order that the system itself can sustain with the inflow of COVID and flu season,” mentioned Eric Sherwin of San Bernardino County Hearth
As an alternative, paramedics and a firetruck will reply to non-life-threatening calls countywide.
“I feel all of us in healthcare can consider varied instances the place emergency departments within the healthcare division have been strained. I’m not conscious of any time the system has been strained for such an prolonged time period,” Sherwin mentioned. “For each hour that ambulances are ready, that ambulance is just not out there for different 911 calls within the system.”
San Bernardino County has fewer hospitals than L.A. County and Orange County, so some officers aren’t stunned they’ve needed to come to this determination to deal with the inflow of sufferers.
“The quantity of calls have really elevated however our means to move sufferers to the hospital and depart them on the hospital has been impacted. The wait time in any respect of our space hospitals has develop into impacted,” mentioned Invoice Watson, the director of Care Ambulance. “We’re blessed in L.A. and O.C. with extra hospitals so we aren’t seeing it right here however I feel each EMS company is doing their greatest to deal with this pandemic.”
Officers need to stress to the neighborhood that this alteration doesn’t stop their entry to medical care — it solely adjustments it, prioritizing life-threatening instances over secure sufferers.