MESSAGES FROM FIRST RESPONDERS
Comments from Good Fellowship Ambulance:
- If you or your loved one is experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. The calltaker will ask you about recent travel history or the presence of flu-like symptoms. These questions are intended to ensure first responders use appropriate protective equipment.
- If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, stay home and call your primary care provider. Older patients and individuals who have severe underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their healthcare provider early, even if their illness is mild. Your primary care provider will recommend next steps for you.
- The potential to overload our hospitals is a serious concern. Patients with these symptoms should stay at home, avoid close contact with others, and contact healthcare providers by phone. If you do have severe symptoms, such as persistent pain or pressure in the chest, difficulty breathing, new confusion, or bluish lips or face, seek emergency care by calling 911. Calling 911 also allows the hospital time to prepare for your arrival with proper protective equipment. EMTs and Paramedics can begin emergency care prior to your arrival at the hospital.
- Good Fellowship Ambulance is prepared to handle this pandemic. We have implemented proactive measures internally to ensure the health and wellbeing of our EMTs and Paramedics that serve on the front lines of healthcare. We are continuing to interact with our partners in emergency services, healthcare and government daily as we respond to this outbreak.
- Click here to learn more about what you can do to help Good Fellowship.
Comments from Minquas Fire Company/Ambulance:
- In order to best preserve the health of our team and incorporate social distancing we have relocated our 10am-10pm MICU crew to the Alert Fire Co. (Pennsylvania Ave. in Downingtown Borough). This will not impact response times to any of your municipalities.
- Our employees are conducting individual health screenings every 6 hours while they are working. We have established an electronic form that they are entering their data into and the EMS leadership team monitors it. Additionally, we have shared our electronic health screening form with Downingtown PD and Downingtown Public Works.
- Placed numerous medical supply orders to ensure we have enough supplies on-hand for 90-120 days. This is solely for supplies that we use every day outside of a pandemic.
- Obtained N95 and surgical masks, gloves, safety glasses, disinfecting wipes, and bleach from several vendors and Home Depot. We are extremely low on gowns which have placed an unmet needs request for through Downingtown EMC to the Chester County EOC.
- Separated our EMS leadership team to maintain a continuity of operations and limited our administrative staff to minimal onsite time.
- Engaged with our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Schiffer (Tower Health), to ensure best practices for all medical procedures we perform for the both crew and patient safety. Additionally, we are developing new alternative destination and treatment and no-transport options to best aid in decompressing hospital ER volumes.
- Noted a 60% decrease in call volume over the last week. This is concerning as our business model is built off of call volume and insurance reimbursement for services rendered.
- Having such a significant decrease in call volume coupled with a 400% increase in spending on medical and safety supplies to ensure the safety of our team and the patients we engage has begun to have us look at the the long-term financial impact of COVID-19 and how it may affect not just our organization but many others in the County, Commonwealth, and Country.
- Engaged with our State Senators and Legislators, along with our US Senators and Congressperson to ensure EMS is named in the stimulus package.
The West Chester Fire Department (WCFD) is taking active steps to decrease the risk of exposure to our essential personnel:
- Our residents are encouraged to notify the dispatcher when calling 911 if they are experiencing any flu-like symptoms and if they have recently traveled.
- We also ask if residents call 911 for our assistance, they evacuate their home, and remain outside until our arrival. Our firefighters will practice social distancing upon initial interaction with the residents to ascertain the situation.
- Additionally, all of the firehouses within the WCFD are closed to visitors during this period.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Will trash and recycling removal continue on schedule? Yes, at the current time, AJB is following its regular schedule. They have implemented procedures to ensure the safety of their employees.
- Can I drop off a building permit? At this time, the building is closed to the public. However, building permits can be mailed and will be processed as staff time and schedules permits. Governor Wolf’s March 20 order shut down the physical operation of various forms of construction activities.