When to call 9-1-1 during the COVID-19 pandemic


HANOVER TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) The COVID-19 pandemic has created all kinds of never before seen challenges for our first responders, as well as for those who literally answer the calls for help… 9-1-1 centers.

The most important message coming from the Luzerne County 9-1-1 Center as well as others in our region, don’t call 9-1-1 unless it’s an absolute emergency.

9-1-1 centers are usually the first place people will call with COVID-19 questions or concerns, but those questions should be directed to others involved in the coronavirus response.

“Please don’t call 9-1-1 just because you have early stage symptoms of COVID-19. You can call 2-1-1. You can call your healthcare provider directly. You can call non-emergency numbers for your local police department for any other questions that are not emergencies,” said Fred Ronencrans, Director of Luzerne County 9-1-1.

And many 9-1-1 centers are trying to protect first responders when they answer any call for help.

“We’ve implemented for the protection of first responders and we’ve been working closely with all the police, fire, EMS agencies in the county from the beginning. Interrogating callers now asking if the patient is suffering from a cough or shortness of breath . Has the patient been near anyone who tested positive for coronavirus?” Rosencrans told us.

The ultimate goal is the protection of everyone involved in the situation.

“We are trying our best to screen and get as much information as we can to first responders so they can prepare and to mitigate any chances of being infected in the field,” added Rosencrans.

Fred Rosencrans tells us, the process takes a little bit of time so he asks the public for patience. He points out we are all in this together.

Most counties have COVID-19 do’s and don’ts on their website.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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