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San Francisco Ambulances at ‘Level Zero’ During Call Surge

Above, a screenshot of an ambulance from a KTVU-TV report.

SAN FRANCISCO – The city’s emergency medical services are being overtaxed, leading to “level zero” status every day, according to KTVU-TV.

Level zero status means there is such a demand for service the city’s Emergency Medical Services Agency calls in additional private ambulance companies for help, the station reports.

The cause? Homelessness, drug addiction and those suffering from mental illness, the station reports.

The city’s firefighters’ union president said the situation is dire.

“The risk is a person’s health,” said Tom Fogle, of the San Francisco Firefighters Union Local 798. “If you’re having a heart attack or a stroke or you’ve been in a car wreck and you need to be in an operating room right away, the longer you wait, the less likely you’re going to have a positive outcome.”

The city of San Francisco said no one has died as a result of the shortage.

Watch the full report below.

Further reading

Critical Staffing Shortages

A Strategy to Solving Difficult Problems Facing EMS Managers

Problems & Solutions: Finding the Best Practices for Your Organization