Thursday, March 22, 2007

"Paramedics answer 911 calls for splinters, cramps, plumbing"

Folks, please don't call 911 unless you absolutely have to. If you call and you don't really need the service, you are sucking up resources that could be used to help other people in worse conditions. But, it seems that some of you already know that.

From the Express-News's Ken Rodriguez:

The San Antonio Fire Department estimates up to one of four transports for basic life support is noncritical. But that may be low. In 2000, emergency medical workers found that in more than half of their calls, "patients" did not require hospital attention.


For every legitimate 911 call, there seems to be an illegitimate one. Some without insurance call to receive treatment for minor ailments. Others phone in order to skip long lines at the ER.

"People now realize," one North Side paramedic says, "that if they go to the hospital on a stretcher, they'll get seen quicker."

Sometimes, a guy on his back with a migraine can see a doctor before a woman bent over with a bloody face. [emphasis added]

Strange, indeed. And sad.

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