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Mecklenburg EMS requests federal assistance with ambulance strike teams due to COVID-19 surge

The agency indicated that more is needed to stabilize the system and provide relief to employees, who have shouldered the weight of these issues.
Mecklenburg’s EMS agency is requesting federal help in the form of ambulance strike teams to...
Mecklenburg’s EMS agency is requesting federal help in the form of ambulance strike teams to deal with staffing shortages, increased call volume and a recent surge in COVID-19 cases from the omicron variant.(Mecklenburg EMS)
Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 11:44 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 3, 2022 at 2:39 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Mecklenburg’s EMS agency is requesting federal help in the form of ambulance strike teams to deal with staffing shortages, increased call volume and a recent surge in COVID-19 cases from the omicron variant.

Officials say the most recent omicron wave, a nationwide EMS staffing shortage, and volatile call volume have increased the significant strain on Mecklenburg County’s 911 system to alarming levels.

Mecklenburg EMS says they currently have 33 employees in isolation due to COVID-19. Also, officials say they are currently taking 25-30 people to the hospital daily due to COVID-19.

The agency indicated that more is needed to stabilize the system and provide relief to employees, who have shouldered the weight of these issues.

Officials say the most recent omicron wave, a nationwide EMS staffing shortage, and volatile...
Officials say the most recent omicron wave, a nationwide EMS staffing shortage, and volatile call volume have increased the significant strain on Mecklenburg County’s 911 system to alarming levels.(Mecklenburg EMS)

In collaboration with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management & FEMA, Mecklenburg EMS has requested federal assistance in the form of ambulance strike teams (25 ambulances/50 personnel) -or- 50 credentialed EMT personnel -or- 50 non-credentialed ambulance driver operators.

That request is currently pending.

The agency indicated that more is needed to stabilize the system and provide relief to employees, who have shouldered the weight of these issues.

The agency says after evaluation, patients are eligible to be taken to the closest in-network facility if clinically appropriate. Officials say this decreases excessive transport times and allows the ambulance to be prepared for the next call quicker.

Mecklenburg EMS says more 911 calls will be eligible to transition to “Alpha,” which does not receive a first responder response and has a Medic response time target of less than 60 minutes 90 percent of the time. Officials say this lessens the burden on first responders and increases Medic’s 911 Communication Center’s ability to triage calls if necessary.

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