On this this morning’s Meet Cortland County Segment:
Vinnie Bellardini spoke via telephone with TLC Cortland Division Manager Patricia “Trish” Hansen, who led several webinars yesterday on safety in the EMS workplace during the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.
The interview was recorded Friday, March 20, so Hansen does reference that the county hadn’t yet seen any positive cases. Two were later confirmed today by state health officials.
Still, her primary message was similar to those delivered across the state yesterday coinciding with Gov. Cuomo’s newest executive order related to the outbreak: Stay home unless it’s an emergency.
Effective at 8 pm Sunday, all nonessential travel and business will be shutdown statewide in an effort to slow the spread of the quickly moving virus.
Details on what is and isn’t considered ‘essential’ can be found here, but it goes without saying that EMS services are on that list.
“We have some wonderful paramedics and EMT’s that have dedicated their lives to helping people,” Hansen said. “If you have an emergency, call 911 and tell them everything that’s going on. Be as accurate as you possibly can because that allows us to best communicate with hospitals and also keeps our emergency responders safe.”
TLC has provided ambulance services in the Cortland area for just under 30 years and Hansen’s be onboard for more than 25 of them, but admits without hesitation that none before have been quite like this one.
Rest assured, she still says her team is as ready and prepared as possible to protect the community during the unpredictable times ahead.
“Our employees are trained, we have the personal protective equipment (PPE) and we’re in frequent contact with hospitals,” said Hansen. “We’re doing everything we can right now to be as well prepared as we possibly can.”
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