LVRS follows the Vermont EMS Protocols when responding to medical emergencies. During the Covid-19 Pandemic, we will also be following Vermont EMS Covid-19 Protocols. Rest assured, we will still be responding to all calls.
If you are calling 911 because you suspect you may have Covid-19, please consult with your health care provider first unless you are having difficulty breathing or feel like you or your loved one is in need of immediate medical attention. If you feel like you need to call 911, don’t hesitate – make the call. The dispatcher will take information about your emergency as well as ask you a series of questions regarding your possible exposure to Covid-19 while the ambulance is being dispatched.
What to Expect When We Respond
LVRS is treating all calls as potential Covid-19 calls. Because the virus is capable of asymptomatic transmission, everyone has the potential to carry and transfer the virus to others without knowing it. That is why it is so important to carefully follow the procedures listed below.
For those of you who have needed our services in the past, please don’t be surprised when things go a little differently during the pandemic.
When we arrive on your scene, we will take minute or two to properly don our PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). PPE will include Nitrile gloves, a surgical or N95 mask, goggles or a face shield and possibly a gown if required.
Only the Team Leader will approach the patient, and will begin assessing the patient from a distance of six feet or more. The driver and attendant will wait at the ambulance or outside for further direction from the team leader.
All patients will be handed a new surgical mask to wear during the call and possibly transport to the hospital. If family or other caregivers are near by, they will be asked to perform social distancing and may also be handed a surgical mask to wear if social distancing is not possible.
The team leader, sometimes in consultation with medical control at the hospital, will determine if transport to the hospital is required. At that time, additional team members or more resources will be called in as required to move the patient safely into the ambulance. All people assisting will be wearing PPE and will be maintaining social distance whenever possible.
If you have signs and symptoms of Covid-19, after consultation with Medical Control at the hospital, it may be determined that you should remain at home. Please understand that determination will be made by a physician and not LVRS and is for your own health and safety to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
Unlike the in past, family members and caregivers will not be allowed to ride in the ambulance.
Unless it is medically necessary for more than one licensed provider to ride with the patient, only the team leader will be in the patient compartment with the patient. The door to the driving compartment will be closed, but the team will be in communication with each other through the ambulance’s intercom. Should a second care giver be required in the back during the ride to the hospital, the ambulance will stop so the attendant can safely move to the back to assist the team leader.
In most cases, to avoid spreading the virus to others, the heat and air conditioning in the patient compartment will be turned off, but the exhaust fan will remain on.
After the call, as before, the ambulance will be cleaned, sanitized and restocked to make it ready for the next medical emergency.
We appreciate your understanding and patience with the additional protocols. They are designed to protect everyone and hopefully slow the spread of Covid-19. As always, LVRS is committed to providing the best patient care possible.