NPFD asks public to limit 911 COVID-19 calls to strictly emergencies

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 6:42 PM CST
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - North Platte paramedics are busier than ever.

“At the very beginning, we saw a dip in our numbers when people were taking care of themselves at home and following all of the guidelines they were given,” said Lieutenant Ryan Thompson. “Then last month or two, we started to see this uptick.”

So far, they’ve responded to 177 EMS calls just this month.

“This is usually a little bit slower time of year, but a lot of it is COVID calls,” Thompson said.

A trend they don’t expect to slow down anytime soon.

“At the rate we are going we will probably break 300 calls this month.”

Paramedics are asking people to think twice before calling 911.

“A lot of people get frustrated when they call because they are being asked these questions to help assist us,” said Thompson. “If they believe it’s COVID, contact the local doctor or the West Central District Health Department to get guidance on getting tested and what steps they need to take if it is not severe. People experiencing severe shortness of breath, chest pain, if they are showing blue skin around their lips and face; if you feel it’s a true emergency they should be calling 911.”

A step that is vital to protecting the local healthcare system.

“I think everyone is aware where Great Plains Health is at at this time with their numbers, so helping each other overall increases the ability for us to do our job and for them to do their job.”

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