BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Local first responders have been flooded with emergency calls throughout the pandemic.
Sometimes, the calls have come in at such a fast pace the county could not keep up. That’s when state-staffed strike teams were sent to help.
Emergency crews are working around the clock to answer as many calls for help as they possibly can. But even with their best effort it’s sometimes not enough to keep up with the demand for immediate medical attention.
With the addition of strike teams of nurses and paramedics both in the hospitals and in ambulances the calls for help are just barely being met but their numbers aren’t going down.
Hospitals are being filled. Wait times for emergency crews are growing and the need for immediate medical attention continues to be on high.
That’s the reality and current situation of the medical industry in Kern County.
“Unfortunately because of the number of calls coming through it’s exceeding capacity,” Mark Corum with Hall Ambulance Service said. “We only have a finite number of ambulances, paramedics and EMTs under normal instances who can respond and answer the call and there’s a limit to everything and we’re seeing that now.”
To help with the situation, strike forces were called in. 36 medical professionals in the hospitals and another 22 with 11 ambulances on the roads.
“Each team [is] assigned to the emergency department in three hospitals to assist with offloading patients from ambulances and patient care in the emergency room.”
But that’s still not enough. Even with the extra hands the pressure is still heavy. An additional 10 paramedics are on their way to help with the ambulance response to 911 calls.
The strike forces are scheduled to stay through the end of February.
First responders ask everyone to only call 911 if you’re having an emergency. Heart attacks, strokes, and chest pain are some examples of reasons to call.