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Greenville Rescue reports a 22 percent increase in calls

Jan 20, 2022 5:45 am

Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Capital Region Independent Media in 2021, calls to the Greenville Rescue Squad increased 22 percent over the previous year. The statistics were revealed by the rescue squad Chief of Operations Matthew Marlow during his report to the Greenville Town Board on January 17. The squad responded to 552 calls in 2021, 120 calls more than in 2020, when the agency took 432 calls for assistance. The increase in calls and other challenges are being attributed to hospital capacity and staffing, rising mutual aid requests and a surge in 911 calls after an early pandemic lull. “We are backfilling Coxsackie (mutual aid) because Coxsackie is backfilling Catskill, who is working in Cairo and everywhere else,” Marlow told the board. “The biggest contributing factor is hospitals. They have cut staff and have started to surge in their own right.” Ambulance crews have been forced to wait at hospitals as staff tries to keep up with demand, or travel to other hospitals further away, Marlow said. "...[O]ur mutual aid has gone up simply because there are no ambulances to answer calls.” The trajectory of the COVID pandemic, and how it has impacted health care, is another factor the squad has had to contend with over the past year, Marlow said. People refrained from ambulance trips to the hospital in the early days of the pandemic, but that changed a few months later and the number of calls began to creep upwards. He said now the squad is seeing all of the pre-pandemic volume, plus COVID-related calls on top of that. The increase in call volume has occurred locally and from other municipalities, as well, Marlowe said. Read the full story at The Upstater [dot] com.

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