It’s a stressful time for all of us right now, but especially for first responders around our state on the frontlines of the pandemic.
American Medical Response (AMR) provides EMS services to some of the largest communities in our state including Hartford, New Haven, and Waterbury.
Right now, they say they’re actually seeing a decrease in 911 calls with less cars and people on the roads.
They ask us to keep it that way to help stop the spread of coronavirus and to help them.
AMR’s Northeast Region PIO Chris Stawasz says the public can help medics during this pandemic by heeding orders to stay indoors and by being transparent about your medical history and who you’ve been in contact with if you need medical care.
”We have had some employees that we’ve had to quarantine out of an abundance of caution, if you will, while we’re waiting for tests to come back on sometimes the source patients they have dealt with, but we haven’t had anyone thankfully yet test positive or become ill, so we’re extremely lucky from that standpoint,” he said.
Like other ambulance services we’ve spoken to in our state, AMR is checking the temperatures of their medics and dispatchers. Plus, they say they’re looking out for their mental health too.
“Certainly, it’s a lot of anxiety for a lot of people including our own crews when we respond there because they want to go home at night and be safe and be with their families, but at the end of the day, we’re here to take care of people that’s what we do. Virus or not, we’re not going to stop our mission,” Stawasz said.
AMR has more than 1,200 employees caring for people in Connecticut.
Stawasz says they are the largest ambulance service provider in the state and transport about 265,000 people a year.
“EMS people in general are very good about being careful when using personal protective equipment, but this is at a level we’ve never seen where we’re wearing masks on a daily basis and during routine calls. It’s uncharted territory for us and everybody else," he said.
AMR is the national contractor for FEMA and while they’re usually responding for hurricanes, right now more than 250 of their ambulances from around the country are deployed in New York City responding to the coronavirus, including some from crews from Connecticut too.