The coronavirus outbreak sweeping through New York City has pushed its ambulance service close to the breaking point, with hundreds of personnel out ill and emergency calls skyrocketing, supervisors and rank-and-file emergency medical technicians said on Friday.
Some 20% of the 4,500 ambulance workers – EMTs, paramedics and supervisors – are out sick, said Dr. Lewis Marshall, board chairman of the New York City Regional Emergency Medical Services Council in an interview with Reuters.
Most of them are out of action because they either have the virus or have been exposed to it, he added.
The union representing EMS personnel said that two members of ambulance crews were on mechanical ventilators, which are used to help seriously ill patients breathe.
At the same time, ambulance calls are skyrocketing.
On Thursday, EMS received more than 6,000 calls. EMS lieutenant Vincent Variale, who also heads a supervisors’ union, said, “We’ve broken every call volume record we’ve ever…
Source news reuters.com, click here to read the full news.