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HEMSI stresses importance of calling 911 for medical emergencies

A reduction in 911 calls has first responders concerned that people aren't calling when they need to.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, HEMSI has noticed a significant reduction in 911 calls, which has these first responders worried.

They are stressing the importance of calling 911 for medical emergencies. Since the onset of COVID-19, Madison County has seen a 20% reduction overall and 25% fewer calls related to cardiac and neuro-related events.

HEMSI CEO Jon Howell said, “We are extremely concerned that people not calling 911 because they are afraid of contracting the virus. Unfortunately, waiting to call can deprive patients of critical time for needed for medical intervention, especially for cardiac arrest and stroke victims.” 

Howell also explained how HEMSI is safeguarding their patients. “We want to make sure everyone knows that HEMSI has strict protocols in place to safeguard our patients. Our crews are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), and all of our equipment receives thorough cleaning following each call before the unit goes out again.”

The bottom line, according to Howell? “Calling is safe. Don’t wait to get help...minutes matter.”

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In a recent survey of over 860 EMS agencies across the country by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, 69% of respondents reported their EMS responses have decreased, with an average reduction of 34%.

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