Alabama EMS Director talks preparation for coronavirus

Published: Mar. 18, 2020 at 9:14 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The Director of EMS services for the state of Alabama believes first responders are in a good position to respond emergency calls related to the coronavirus. Dr. Elwin Crawford is also the medical director Northstar Paramedic Services and he says they’re asking a lot more questions before arriving somewhere to get a patient.

First responders want to know if your symptoms include fever and or a cough. They will ask have you been out of the state of Alabama or the country. If so, they’ll put on protective gear that includes a mask, gloves and protective suit. Two paramedics will respond, but the patient may only have direct contact with one of them, if its possible the patient is positive for the Coronavirus.

“Again, we’re going to respond if you call 9-1-1. We want to respond. People who call just to get tested, they need to call their doctor, see if other avenues to get tested rather than just going to the emergency department,” Dr. Crawford explained.

Local EMS providers can also get the latest updates on coronavirus through a link on the State EMS website to the CDC. Crawford said there are more than 13,000 licensed EMS providers in Alabama.

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