SCIOTO — The Scioto County Emergency Management Agency shared Monday local emergency medical services are stretched thin due to the pandemic, lack of volunteers, paid professionals, and the overuse of emergency services for non-emergency situations.
According to a release from Scioto EMA, many calls for service are taking extended periods of time to find personnel to respond to calls. Scioto EMA, Ambulatory services, and Southern Ohio Medical Center have teamed up to launch the “Stop and Think Before You Call” campaign and bring awareness to the public about when someone should call for an emergency squad or ambulance.
“The only time someone should call an emergency squad, or ambulance is when a person’s condition appears life threatening, or their condition could worsen and become life threatening, or moving a person could cause further harm or injury,” Scioto EMA said in the release.
Scioto EMA also clarified some people’s misconceptions about using ambulatory services to go to the emergency room.
“It is a misconception that if someone arrives at the emergency department by squad, they will be seen without waiting. This is not true in Scioto County. All patients are triaged at the ED and treated based on the severity of their condition,” according to the release. “Just because they arrive by ambulance, they are not automatically pushed to the head of the line.”
For all non-emergency circumstances, first responders encourage if the person feels they need medical attention, they should be transported by an alternate means and not by squad or ambulance.
“By tying up the limited emergency medical services for non-emergency situations, a person may deprive service to someone else that has a true medical emergency, and they may cost that person their life,” the release stated.
The release also listed incidents for when someone should call for ambulatory services, including when someone is not breathing, has trouble breathing, sustains a serious injury, uncontrollable bleeding or heavy blood loss, severe chest pains, severe abdominal pain, or an overdose.
“We need the public’s help to alleviate this crisis,” Scioto EMA said.