At one time, the coronavirus caused people to skip calling 911 and going to the emergency room during a medical emergency. But, a local EMT says they’ve recently seen an increase in calls.

Jamie Hennessee, a paramedic, and manager for CCMH’s ambulance department, said people shouldn’t hesitate to call an ambulance if they need one.

“We have the appropriate PPE,” Hennessee said. “The hospital has been amazing at making sure we’re well protected. We also have plenty of masks to protect the patient as well.”

With lights flashing and sirens blaring, EMT crews are having to remember to stop and ask questions.

“Such as, do you have a fever? Is there a possibility that you have COVID before we enter the homes, and we’re trying to get the patients to walk outside if they can,” she said. “So that’s definitely been a challenge and a shift in mentation in how we handle those situations, but everybody seems to be adjusting fairly well.”

Hennessee said she wants people to know despite everything going on, they are still here for them.

“We’re still your regular EMS crew that just wants to come out and help you,” Hennessee said. “You’re not alone, and if you have COVID or you don’t have COVID, we will show up, we will come get you, we will take care of you, and we’ll get you whatever help you need.”

If you do find yourself needing to be rushed to the hospital, she says crews will be wearing PPE and masks…just like they do on every call.