Due To COVID-19 Staffing Shortages, Escambia EMS Calls In Supplemental Ambulance Crews

July 11, 2020

When seven vehicles wrecked at Highway 29 and Muscogee Road in Cantonment Friday evening, a Lifeguard EMS unit responded instead of an Escambia County ambulance. That’s because with employees out due to COVID-19, Escambia County EMS is shorthanded.

Under a mutual aid plan, at least two Lifeguard EMS from Santa Rosa County are stationed in Escambia County through the weekend.

Escambia County Public Safety Director Jason Rogers, who started his job just a few weeks ago, said on a regular day “when everybody comes to work” there are 18 ambulance crews on duty across the county during peak hours. There were 15 Escambia County ambulances, a quick response vehicle plus two Lifeguard units covering the county on Friday, and a similar arrangement is expected for Saturday and Sunday.

“That is as close to everybody coming to work and life being normal as possible as we can possibly get,” he said.

He said nine Escambia EMS staffers have tested positive for COVID-19, five are awaiting test results and others are isolated.

Rogers said he was not worried that EMS would reach a critical staffing level, but he reached out to the company that operates LifeGuard in advance when he saw the uptick in virus cases and isolations.

“I wanted to get these partnerships in place before it was an emergency,” he said Friday, adding that  EMS staffing problems were happening around the country, not just locally.

“We have not reached a critical stage,” Rogers said.

Pictured: A Santa Rosa County Lifeguard EMS unit, which was stationed in Escambia County , responded to a seven vehicle crash Friday evening on Highway 29 at Muscogee Road in Cantonment. NorthEscambia.com photos by Kristi Barbour, click to enlarge.

Comments

6 Responses to “Due To COVID-19 Staffing Shortages, Escambia EMS Calls In Supplemental Ambulance Crews”

  1. Melissa Pino on July 13th, 2020 11:45 am

    This will only get worse. My heart bleeds for our front liners. It’s a tragedy what is being visited on them due to the selfishness, greed, and ineptitude of our policy makers and a good portion of our citizenry.

    If the EMS department had been truly reformed last spring, when it should have been, they would have been in so much better shape to handle this. And yet the medic bleed was allowed to continue running amok.

    And now we are asking some of the very medics chased off to Santa Rosa Lifeguard to come back and save us. Mindblowing.

    I just heard from another medic in our area who is symptomatic and going in for testing. Why people think that this problem could have been solved by throwing money at it, I’ll never understand.

  2. Just saying on July 11th, 2020 5:17 pm

    Mama always said stupid is as stupid does.

    Can’t fault anyone from opening up to work. Can fault them for sitting in a bar or on a creek bank at a party ignoring common sense.

  3. Wayne on July 11th, 2020 12:36 pm

    @ ALEX…I will not lower myself and call anyone stupid.
    Your welcome

  4. ALEX on July 11th, 2020 10:45 am

    wayne, do not blame the government for opening up, blame the people for being stupid and not taking proper precautions and not caring about themselves or others around them.

  5. Wayne on July 11th, 2020 8:35 am

    Perhaps DeSantis in his brilliant wisdom can open some more things and beaches and facilities to suppress this virus outbreak…
    He has and had no plan..except to use Florida as a guinea pig
    Doing great guy…when everyone is jobless and homeless and still waiting for the unemployment that still is a pig pen operation…you will have succeeded.
    Voting time….is great

  6. Barbara Agerton on July 11th, 2020 1:15 am

    Reading this,really brings it home.





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