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Amid Covid outbreak, state and county take action to assist ambulance coverage


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The state and county are taking action to help Kern County’s largest ambulance provider ensure service throughout the Golden Empire.

Hall Ambulance covers 88 percent of Kern County, but the ambulance provider has been inundated with Covid 9-1-1 calls over the last few months.

“We’re now experiencing record-breaking call volume on a daily basis,” said Mark Corum, Hall Ambulance director of media services.

Since the outbreak began, Hall has transporterted more than 1,000 Covid patients, including 352 in June and 385 up to this point in July, per Corum.

Each transport can take hours just to offload the patient into the emergency room, according to Corum. Afterward, it could take at least one more hour to disinfect the ambulance before it is ready to go back into service. That translates into fewer available ambulances as cases spike, which is why Hall is behind a new county plan announced at the weekly press conference Thursday.

In essence, the plan calls for Liberty Ambulance to provide temporary coverage in California City so that Hall can focus on the Metro Bakersfield area.

On Friday, the state will send emergency ambulance strike teams to Kern County consisting of 10 ambulances and 22 employees.

“They will be posted here and available for our use if the demand requires,” said Matt Constantine, Kern County Public Health Director.

Hall believes the state strike team could be a big help going forward.

“The end goal is when someone calls 9-1-1 for an emergency, Hall Ambulance will be there ready to respond,” Corum said.

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