Shippensburg EMS Captain Speaks on Struggles during COVID-19
By: Tyler Dancisin 4/2/21
The COVID-19 Pandemic has taken a toll on the world and especially in the United States. As of April 1st, there has been over 30 million confirmed cases and just over 550,000 deaths linked to the virus
First responders and health care workers certainly had their work cut out for them over the past year and are still in a constant battle.
Here in Shippensburg, EMS services were on the front lines of everything regarding COVID-19, EMS Captain Heather Franzoni told SUTV in an exclusive interview that temperature checks, full health screenings, wearing N95 masks on calls, and how they overall completed their operations of the job.
Normally both paramedics would go inside a residence to assess a situation but under new COVID guidelines, only 1 paramedic was permitted to enter a home at a time. This was done in an effort to limit exposure of the patients and crew.
Captain Franzoni also stated that a normal call that would take an hour to conduct and get back to the station from would end up taking 2 hours because everything touched on the call, including the two that were on the call, had to be fully decontaminated and cleaned to ensure that there was no accidental exposure.
Shippensburg EMS faced struggled behind the curtain as well in the year of 2020. Calls to action were down 5.8% compared to 2019. In total there was 208 less calls in 2020. Revenue at Shippensburg EMS was also significantly down due to the lack of need for EMS workers in Shippensburg.
Captain Franzoni said that she wanted to create a welcoming place for her team, each shift there was plenty of food, water and other accommodations to make each worker feel comfortable. She also gave a lot of credit to the local community during the struggling times as Ship EMS received lots of donations as a thank you for their service during the hard times.
As for the current state of the pandemic, national and local restrictions are slowly easing up as the country is becoming vaccinated one person at a time. In the Keystone state, all adults over the age of 16 will be able to get vaccinated starting on April 19th. Click below for more information on the vaccination timeline and how to get the vaccine.