IEMS employees test positive while preparing for COVID-19 surge

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Three Indianapolis Emergency Medical Service employees tested positive for COVID-19.

It’s a sad reality for many as they continue to fight to keep those with the virus alive and taking the proper precautions themselves from contracting it.

“They are high-risk because they are healthcare workers,” said Chief of Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services Dr. Dan O’Donnell.

Those three are currently in quarantine. IEMS is also working to take care of the other needed personnel and citizens to get through this pandemic.

“We want to make sure that our workforce is staying healthy, staying protected so they can be there for one week, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, however long this thing lasts down the road,” said Dr. O’Donnell.

Right now, they’re currently going on about 350 runs per day. But what they have noticed is a higher percentage of influenza-like illness, which is now keeping them from working with the Indianapolis Fire Department.

“We looked at our runs and make sure we aren’t sending additional resources that may not be needed at that time,” said Dr. O’Donnell.

The main goal is to keep as many emergency personnel as safe as possible to prepare for the surge. They’re working behind the scenes to create a game plan when that time comes.

“We are getting creative in ways looking down the road, weeks down the road. Myself, Indianapolis EMS, Indianapolis Fire Department leadership are looking at plans to make sure we can still provide 911 service to Indianapolis,” said Dr. O’Donnell.

They are also looking for ways to partner with local hospitals to help with the response and even considering options like incorporating Telehealth into their calls.

“I have no doubt that things will increase over the coming weeks, and they will put a strain on all of us. But I can tell you Indianapolis is ready to handle this,” said Dr. O’Donnell.

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