WESLACO, Texas — As the Texas spike in COVID-19 cases grows so does the increase in 9-1-1 calls.
In just 9 days, Weslaco had 274 calls for help and the amount has overwhelmed emergency medical technicians.
“[We’ve had] about 50 calls per day. It has been pretty much steady around that number there” said Lt Efrain Bautista.
While the calls range from common to critical, those who need transport to local hospitals, have fallen into the hurry up and wait for the reality of COVID-19.
“It’s a little bit frustrating whenever you trying to get in there and trying to get somebody help and they’re full of patients and already,” Lt Bautista said.
On top of the transport, frustrations are the number of times EMTs respond to non-emergency calls.
The time is crucial for the next patient as EMTs must, sanitize equipment, the units, don and doff protective equipment.
“When they’re feeling really sick; shortness of breath, can’t get out of bed, there’s the confusion, that’s when they need to start calling 911,” said Bautista.
As the calls for help go, the possibility of an EMT contracting the virus increases and the threat of transmitting to someone at home.
“I change in the garage so that there’s no cross-contamination back into my house.”
COVID-19 shows no signs of slowing down in south Texas and EMTs urge you to stay home to stay safe.