OLATHE, Kan. — Since the stay-at-home order took effect, 911 calls for ambulance services have dropped significantly in Johnson County.
Ambulance calls and transports are down almost 3% in the last month in the county.
That has paramedics and emergency medical technicians concerned that people may be suffering small heart attacks or strokes and not calling for help because they’re afraid of contracting COVID-19.
MedAct Chief Paul Davis wants to reassure the public that his ambulances and EMTs are safe.
Ambulances are decontaminated after each call, and also sterilized twice a week. Ozone is pumped throughout the ambulance environment, killing any live organisms inside.
“We want to make sure that people are still being safe,” Davis said. “We know there are fears of contracting coronavirus, COVID-19. We really need people to understand that it’s okay to call 911 if you are having a medical emergency. Things like chest pain, related to heart attack and stroke symptoms should not go unattended. They really should be called and be evaluated. So call 911 and be transported to the hospital.”
Hospitals and paramedics said they have adequate supplies of personal protective equipment to keep patients safe.
And at the University of Kansas Hospital there has yet to be a case where someone contracted COVID-19 from another patient or staffer at the hospital.
Davis said time is critical during a heart attack or stroke. The longer a patient waits to seek help, the more damage can occur to your heart muscle or brain.
Don’t let the virus put your health at risk in other ways.