Pandemic causes increased 911 calls

Buchanan County EMS said they saw as many as 65 911 calls in one day.

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 8:06 PM
Updated: Nov 30, 2020 11:39 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) EMT's at Buchanan County EMS said the call load was relatively light during the Thanksgiving holiday.

"Today's been a little bit on the lower side," Jordan Lebahn, an EMT said.

It's welcome news, as that hasn't been the case lately, Covid-19 has kept EMT staff busy.

Steve Groshong, director of operations for Buchanan County EMS, said they've received 65 calls on Wednesday of this week, the most he's seen in a single day all year. 

As the pandemic surges, EMTs have had to change the way they interact with patients to keep everyone involved safe.

"This virus can kill lots of people, so we want to take every precaution that we can." Jordan Lebahn, an EMT said. 

EMTs said they're transferring more and more patients every day, and in some cases, patients are repeating. 

"we're starting to get a lot of sick people with respiratory problems at home," Groshong said. "They get worse and they need to turn around and go back to the hospital."

Despite the lull during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, EMTs are on high alert.

Groshong said Black Friday is normally a busy day for EMTs, but added that it's hard to predict what will happen this year.

"I have no idea what it's gonna be like, " he said. "I guess we'll know tomorrow."

Given the unpredictability of this year, local EMS staff say they're proud of each other as they all step up in a time of crisis.

"It's been amazing to watch these people do what they do," Groshong said. " I am so proud of them it's not even funny." 

The local EMS also said their strict decontamination process helps in the fight against the spread of Covid-19 among themselves and patients.

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Light snow, or flurries with a transition to light rain is possible for northeast Missouri and northeast Kansas Monday. Less than a 1/2" of snowfall is expected. A fairly substantial warm up is projected for Wednesday. Then a cold front will work its way through the region Wednesday night with cooler weather behind it for the end of the week.
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