Taney County Ambulance District reports increase in calls after lull during start of the Covid-19 pandemic
Branson, Mo. (KY3) - Taney County paramedics cover 640 square miles and they respond to an average of 14,000 calls for service a year.
When the pandemic began last March and April, paramedics tell KY3 they saw a significant drop in their number of calls.
“We’re not sure why our call volume dropped, “ Taney County Paramedic, Johnathan Tudor said. “Everyone’s got their own speculations part of it we believe people were scared. Scared to go out of their house, scared to go to the hospital.”
Concerned about the impact this would have on funding, Tudor said they were able to cut about $600,000 worth of expenses out of the budget which has helped balance the loss.
”Our tax revenue did fall, it fell by over $500,000 but as the pandemic wore on our calls for service have increased,” Tudor said.
Taney County paramedics are going on so many more calls that they’ve even had to put another ambulance in service.
Tudor said they’re now playing catch up as hospitals continue to fill up.
”We’re also transferring patients a lot further than we used to. You know going to St. Louis, Kansas City, Little Rock, Tulsa, and that takes a lot of you know toll on the system taking a truck out of service for that long,” Tudor said.
Paramedics said the additional ambulance and crew is helping them keep up with high call demand.
”Just to kind of make things easier for everybody else its been a great help for us,” Taney County Paramedic, Steve Ulm said.
The Taney County Ambulance Department also invested in new masks, called “Halo Masks” that filter air to keep them safer.
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