LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -As new coronavirus cases rise across the state, local first responders are doing what they can to keep themselves safe.
Billy Vincent, community relations supervisor for Acadian Ambulance explained coronavirus cases are on the rise.
“We see COVID-19 on a daily basis, on the ambulance. Whether it be people from homes or people from nursing homes, or actually, transfers going from one facility to another facility for specialty care,” Vincent said. “Now, those numbers are on the rise, and we are seeing that more and more. It’s happening more frequently as those numbers go up, obviously more people need care inside of hospitals. As they become short of breath, or have more severe symptoms, we transport them to the more appropriate facility.”
Since March, medics have been wearing their PPE throughout their 12-hour shifts.
“We’ve kept our PPE standard throughout the entire COVID-19 crisis. That way, we make sure our employees are safe,” Vincent said. “So, they should be wearing their full PPE for each call that they come in contact to make sure that they’re safe, that the patients we haul are safe and their family, when they go home, is also safe.”
They’re asking residents to be mindful this holiday season to reduce the strain on local hospitals.
“Following this holiday season, whether it be Thanksgiving or Christmas or New Year’s, that people are mindful of what they’re doing and they limit their exposure. And when they are around people, they wear appropriate PPE for the people that they’re around,” Vincent said. “What most people don’t realize is that people go into the hospital, they get treated and they’re released. But, what happens is when you have this large uptick, more people are placed in the hospital and it taxes resources.”
Earlier this year, they did take some patients to Dallas for treatment.
“What we’re trying to do with this, by making sure that you’re properly isolated and separated from people you’re not normally with and wearing appropriate PPE. This keeps people from catching and keeps the strain off the healthcare system so that we can take care of our population like we normally would without having to move them out of town.”
Acadian Ambulance will be operating 24/7 throughout the holiday season, responding to calls as normal.