The Free State Emergency Medical Services say they are combat-ready to respond to calls this festive season. Apart from the high number of road crashes this time of year, the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections is adding to their workload. Healthcare workers remain at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic.
“At this time of the year. I would not say it’s a challenge per se. Why I’m saying this, most of the patients don’t want to be admitted. Especially during the festive season, they want to be with their families. So, I would say most of the calls that we are receiving would be trauma cases, by trauma cases I mean accidents, stab wounds and the like. Those are the calls that we are getting most of the time,” says Ngxameleni Kalman.
Emergency services personnel have to be psychologically and physically prepared for their arduous shifts. At times they must attend to horrific scenes and deal with emotionally draining situations.
They say the festive season is usually very demanding. Dieketseng Mokhele has been working as a paramedic for 10 years and says their challenges as paramedics have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Most of the time you would find that our people are under the influence of alcohol and we get a lot of accidents, and they fight and it’s our biggest challenge,” says Mokhele.
Meanwhile, Free State Emergency Services says since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, pressure on emergency services has escalated.
Emergency Medical Services manager for Mangaung, Sello Mohlakoane says they had to adapt to new and different ways of doing their work. He says personnel and resources have been put under immense strain during this time.
“I want to stretch a point that covid is not only meant for community or the public out there. It is also meant for our officials. Whom at times you’d find they are also infected and the number of the resources that we have on the road would be reduced. And they are reduced we need to out some effort of people to work overtime to assist our commumities. On top of that the festive season also has added in terms of a higher number of accidents on the road. Remember their weather was bad during this December. It was raining and accidents have escalated very high and we are supposed to stretch all the resources in hospitals in community services and all over,” says Mohlakoane.
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