COVID-19 Surge Limiting San Bernardino County (CA) Fire Ambulance Dispatches

According to a report from KESQ, a surge in new COVID-19 cases is causing San Bernardino (CA) County Fire (SBCF) to send paramedics to emergency calls, but the company is now making a big change.

SBCF crew members are riding out into dangerous situations but the details of the call have never been more important.  

This past Sunday, SBCF added a new policy to prioritize ambulance services for its most serious calls. 

SBCF Chief Bob Evans said that the company is withholding its advanced life support ambulances from going to low-acuity calls. He also said that, although a patient may consider their issue an emergency, if it is not truly life threatening, the company will “hold back” an ambulance until its actually needed. 

Heavily trafficked emergency rooms have meant that paramedics are now waiting up to eight hours at a hospital before they can release a patient and then respond to their next call. 

It can take 60 to 90 seconds for crews to respond to a call, but with safety measures in place, it will add an additional 20 seconds.

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