While many people have been furloughed and others are working from home, public service workers have continued to show up at work every day as the coronavirus spreads through the United States. During Public Service Recognition Week and Firefighter Day this May, we'd like to take a look at the tireless efforts these people are making while dealing with the coronavirus crisis on the front lines.
911 Operators Working Overtime
In New York City and many other areas, 911 operators are working overtime to make sure calls get answered. In some cases, call volumes have increased fourfold, and at the same time, staff levels have been affected by people with illnesses or who don't have childcare.
To deal with these challenges, some 911 operators are working long shifts seven days a week. They are compromising their own safety and spending time away from their families to ensure they can answer the calls that are pouring in at a rate of one every 15.5 seconds.
Firefighters Responding to Record High Number of Ambulance Requests
While dealing with 911 calls due to the coronavirus and other medical emergencies, firefighters in New York have seen the request for ambulances jump by 40%. This is higher than the number of ambulance requests from 9/11, and many other areas are also experiencing similar trends.
While responding to calls, firefighters know that they may be potentially putting themselves in harm's way if they have to deal with people who are infected by this extremely contagious virus.
Emergency Medical Technicians Changing Workflows
In the midst of the coronavirus, many people have had to change how they work, but in several industries, changes have only involved shifting to online tools or meeting colleagues online. In the public services and medical sector, these professionals have had to make much more significant changes.
For example, normally when someone is having a heart attack, the EMTs try to revive them at the scene, and then, they take the patient to the hospital for more treatment. In the midst of the coronavirus, EMTs are handling all of the treatment out in the field. This shift in how EMTs help patients is designed to prevent hospitals from becoming overburdened by too many emergency arrivals.
In other cases, paramedics are helping 911 operators, talk callers through medical emergencies when they can't dispatch ambulances quickly enough.
The coronavirus is scary, and most people in the world have never faced a crisis of this magnitude. During Public Service Recognition Week and Firefighter Appreciation Day, we would like to thank these professionals for the hard work they are doing to help their communities.
LPL Tracking # 1-05002733