Emergency crews have to trust callers
Paramedics and emergency medical technicians with the county’s emergency medical department depend on dispatchers to let them know if they should don personal protection equipment before entering a house.
EMS no longer gets a list of addresses under COVID-19 isolation or quarantine orders, director Travis Parmley said.
“Dispatch lets us know,” Parmley said.
Linda Klenda, administrator for emergency communications, said the health department used to provide a list of those addresses, but no longer does.
As the number of cases increased, the health department steered dispatch to a screening tool to help them assess whether PPE is needed, Klenda said.
When a caller summons an ambulance, dispatchers ask specific health questions.
“We give them information from the questions so the paramedics know whether to suit up,” Klenda said.
Sometimes the caller tells dispatchers what they need to know before the questions are even asked, Klenda said.
Last modified Dec. 10, 2020