CHAMPION, Ohio (WKBN) – The Champion Fire Department says soon, its EMTs may suggest patients not go to the emergency room for minor health problems.
“I am trying to lighten the load that is overloading our health care system between St. Joe’s and Trumbull Regional. We’re just trying to do our part to help that,” said Champion Fire Chief John E. Hickey.
The Champion Fire Department may suggest you not go to the emergency room if you are having minor symptoms.
Hickey says it will be for your safety and that EMTs would provide simple home treatments instead.
He says this is especially important with the expected spike in COVID-19 cases after Thanksgiving celebrations.
“We never want to overload our emergency care system, whether it be the hospital, whether it be EMS, the ambulance,” Hickey said.
Dr. James Shina, an internal medicine physician with Steward Medical Group, suggests calling your primary care physician if you’re feeling under the weather. This way, your doctor or the doctor on call can monitor your symptoms over time.
“We’ll talk to those patients multiple times a week sometimes if we have to, just so nothing falls through the cracks. Patients feel better when they know somebody is hearing what’s going on. They’re not sitting by themselves at home,” Dr. Shina said.
Hickey wants to reassure Champion residents that they aren’t saying you’re not sick. Both he and Dr. Shina say communication is key to keeping people safe and healthy.
“The main thing is communicating with the patient. We always have to remember they have called us because whatever the problem is, it is an emergency to them,” Hickey said.
More stories from WKBN.com: