With more COVID patients and 911 calls, first responders say they’re pushed to the limit
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu Emergency Medical Services said a record number of 911 calls along with an increase in COVID-related emergencies are putting a strain on first responders.
A spokesperson for Honolulu EMS reported 390 calls on a single day last week.
Normally, crews respond to an average of 250 calls each day.
”We are well above call volume every day,” said Jonathan Lee, district chief with the Honolulu EMS.
First responders said earlier this summer, crews would go days without a call for a COVID patient. Now, transporting people who have already tested positive for the virus is becoming a routine occurrence.
Lee said most of the volume is coming from town areas and that those crews are under the most stress.
He also mentioned that, compared to last year, the severity of cases and the type of patients his members are seeing has changed.
”We’re seeing sicker people, younger people that are getting sick and it’s pretty much all the Delta variant now,” Lee added.
Furthermore, with tourism back in the islands, EMS crews said they are even busier than they were pre-pandemic, responding to everything from rescues to crashes to COVID patients.
Because of the increase in demand for services, first responders asked the public to call a healthcare provider or doctor if you are not experiencing severe COVID symptoms.
However, EMS said if you are having trouble breathing or experiencing a dire medical emergency do not hesitate to call 911.
Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.