For Immediate Release
Coronavirus Response Update
The Coronavirus Pandemic has been nothing short of a continuous challenge for everyone. As a designated essential service, Southside Virginia Emergency Crew continues to operate throughout this pandemic, however, we also have had to adopt to a few changes in order to keep the health and safety of our providers and patients in mind.
First, when you call 911, you may be asked a few additional questions when requesting an ambulance. This is a quick COVID-19 Pre-screen and it allows our emergency communications staff to properly notify responding personnel of your current status. Although this may seem like an inconvenience, it is a necessary step in the dispatching process and we greatly appreciate your cooperation. Of course, this process will not delay an ambulance response if you are having an emergency. Often, once your request for an ambulance is made, one is dispatched seconds later while the dispatcher continues to gather information from you.
Secondly is the process of scene operations. Our providers are briefed regularly on the constant changes with this virus. At times, our providers may take a little longer than normal approaching you or entering your home due to having to don personal protective equipment also known as PPE. In addition to the standard gloves, providers may have to outfit themselves in a special mask, gown, googles and footwear to help protect themselves and also the patients and bystanders on scene. This takes time and may appear that our providers are not responding quickly to your emergency. We want you to know that our providers treat each call for service with priority and high attentiveness and our goal is to get dressed in PPE as quickly as possible.
Lastly, as the situation unfolds with COVID-19, our goal is to reduce exposures as much as possible. With this in mind, we have had to restrict the amount of passengers in the unit to only the patient requiring Emergency Medical Services. This simply means that at this time, we are unable to take rider’s with the patient. Of course, there are special situations where this may not be feasible such as a minor patient, however, these situations are the only exceptions and are provider discretion. As a general standard, SVEC will not allow riders to accompany the patient to the hospital.
We understand that these changes can be frustrating. We understand that having to be in an ambulance can be unnerving and very scary. Our providers will work with the patient to help reduce anxiety and take away the fear so you can be assured that your loved one is cared for and will never be alone in the back of ambulance at any time during their encounter.
We continue to monitor this fluid crisis and as the situation changes, we also are reviewing our operations to assure we are providing the best care safely and in compliance with guidelines from local, state and federal officials.