Omicron is continuing to fuel the current surge leaving first responders wondering if the pandemic will ever let up.
Jimmy Dupuy II, Operations Supervisor of Acadian Ambulance, says the number of dispatch calls are rising as quickly as the number of COVID-19 cases.
During the first eight days of 2022, Acadian saw nearly 1,900 COVID related calls across Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
Louisiana alone had almost 1,200.
“We’ve gone up about 50 to 60 patients per day total for the whole five parishes of Lafayette, Saint Martin, Iberia, and St. Landry," said Dupuy. "And some days it’s even more than that. Some days we have more than 200 plus patients per day."
According to Dupuy, they've also had to fill shift slots because of medics testing positive.
To protect their employees, Dupuy said Acadian is making sure all medics are provided with proper PPE.
“In any given week we’ll have three to five medics out just in our area due to being COVID positive. So we have to back fill those shifts with other medics to keep things running,” Dupuy said. “We provide our medics with N95 masks and respirators to wear on every patient contact and surgical masks, anywhere else in the station if there's a large group of medics there supposed to be wearing surgical masks while in groups,” He added.
New Iberia Police also released a statement saying they are restricting lobby services and are handling non-emergency calls by phone.
Here's how you can help first responders prior to calling dispatch:
“Notify dispatch that you may be COVID positive or have signs or symptoms of COVID when they call 9-1-1. That will prepare the first responders to properly care and protect themselves when they respond to an emergency,” Dupuy said.
Dupuy said an Acadian Ambulance does not have COVID tests on hand, but Acadian's sister company, Safety Management Systems, does offer COVID testing to the Lafayette area.
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