The members of the all-volunteer Warwick Community Ambulance would like to reach out to the community in an effort to better serve their needs. As the Town has grown, the number of calls they answer has also risen dramatically. They are currently averaging 4.8 calls every day. Last year they responded to over 1,800 calls and could eclipse that number this year.
While Warwick Community Ambulance has endeavored to recruit more members, they are experiencing fatigue amongst many members of the organization.
After much discussion, a consensus has been reached on the fact that, with the increase in call volume, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of non-emergency calls. Response to non-emergency calls creates an issue in that an emergency crew is now occupied and should an actual emergency call come in, it could take valuable time to respond with a second crew.
Difference Between an Emergency & Non-Emergency
Residents may ask, “What is the difference between an emergency and non-emergency?”
An emergency is a situation where someone’s life is in danger such as chest pains, difficulty breathing, allergic reactions, diabetic issues, altered mental status, serious bleeding, a fall from a height equal to/or greater than a person’s body height, and an overdose.
A non-emergency can be situations such as, but not limited to, a headache, the flu, a toothache, diarrhea, vomiting, and intoxication unless accompanied by more significant symptoms.
Many times members of the Warwick Community Ambulance respond to incidents only to have the patient walk to the ambulance and the family, neighbor, or friend follows in their own vehicle. If a person has a non-emergency issue and can walk to a vehicle and be driven, they should save time and seek assistance in that manner.
The Ambulance Corps is in no way suggesting that folks who genuinely need them to not call 911. Rather, they are asking for people to exercise due diligence and common sense.
First aid classes are offered every month for a nominal fee which could serve to better educate neighbors. Residents are also encouraged to come down on the first Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to 12 noon to see what the Ambulance Corps is all about and ask questions.
Since 1942, the Ambulance Corps has proudly served the Town and will continue to do so but cannot do it alone. They need the community to work with them.