JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown Fire Department is clarifying what is an emergency as the number of non-emergent 911 calls increase.
The Department sounded the alarm on Monday about what qualifies for an emergency response.
Over the past several months, Fire Prevention Officer and EMS Supervisor Robert Smith tells us they have received an uptick in calls for things like a scraped knee, sprained ankle or even just someone needing a ride. He says these non-urgent calls cause delays.
“Here at the Jamestown fire department right now we only have one ambulance, so when that ambulance goes on a call that may or may not be a life-threatening emergency, that’s one less ambulance that’s available in case there’s another real emergency,” explained Smith.
The department is required by law to respond to medical calls no matter the severity.
“Whether or not it is an actual emergency it becomes a little bit subjective to us it might seem to be not as serious of a call but to the person calling it may be very serious, so that’s why we don’t want to keep people from calling 911, if they feel that they need us, please call us,” said Smith.
In addition to the non-emergent calls, the department has noted a major increase in call volume with over 7,088 calls so far this year compared to 6,458 in 2020 and 5,802 in 2019.
“Especially right now with COVID going on, we are taking a lot of people to the hospital,” Smith furthered. “A lot of times the emergency calls for service we receive, really could be something that could be handled at your local doctor’s office.”
Should you, or anyone around you, experience trouble breathing, loss of consciousness, symptoms of heart attack or stroke or things like non-stop bleeding, Smith says they should call for immediate help.