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Michigan EMS: Don’t delay calling 911 during a health emergency

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Posted at 10:36 AM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 10:36:26-04

(WXYZ) — Michigan's ambulance providers say residents should not risk their lives in a health emergency by avoiding calling 911 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Michigan Association of Ambulance Services says it has seen a troubling trend of people fearing to call 911 for heart attacks, strokes and other medical emergencies.

“We don’t want to see people develop a permanent medical disability or die needlessly due to fear of COVID or burdening the medical system,” said Jack Fisher, MAAS president and executive director of Medic 1 Ambulance in Berrien County. “Every minute counts in a medical emergency and people should still call for help, even during this pandemic.”

Ambulance providers say they are prepared to safely care for patients with medical emergencies with protective gear and disinfecting protocols in place.

“Individuals did not stop having heart attacks and strokes when the coronavirus appeared,” said Ron Slagell, president and CEO of Huron Valley Ambulance and past-president of MAAS. “While it’s important to take the pandemic seriously, signs of serious health problems should not be ignored or pushed off.”

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