Dear Western Berks Community,
We know that many of you are anxious about the current public health situation we all are facing, not only as a community but also as a nation. We want to reassure you that Western Berks Ambulance remains ready to serve you, as we have since our founding in 1961, and as we will continue to do for many years to come. We have taken measures to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of our crews and staff. In addition, we are asking that you follow all public health recommendations in order to protect yourself and your loved ones, as well as others you may contact, including our crews and staff.
We are continuously monitoring the latest information about coronavirus (COVID-19) and are adapting our procedures and processes in order to be prepared for this unprecedented health emergency. Our EMS crews are highly trained to deal with infectious diseases daily, regardless of whether it is pneumonia, flu, tuberculosis, MRSA, or any myriad of issues that they may encounter.
We are coordinating our efforts with other local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies to ensure coordination and continuity of care within Berks County. We are holding daily Operations meetings with EMS agencies across the county. We have created special procedures to make sure our crews stay safe and are able to continue serving our local community.
What You Can Do To Help
As always, our job is to keep you safe, but we need your help. We are asking everyone to follow some simple CDC and public health guidelines so that both you and our crews remain safe and can return home to family and loved ones. These guidelines are listed below.
1. Stay home unless it is an absolute emergency that requires you to go out.
2. Social distance yourself from others if you must go out. The recommended distance is 6 feet away from other individuals.
3. Sneeze or cough into your elbow to prevent the spread of droplets.
4. If you are sick, stay home, ideally isolated from others.
5. Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds. That’s the time it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song twice.
6. Avoid Touching your Face, Eyes Nose and Mouth
7. If you need to call 9-1-1, please be sure to be honest with the operator and inform them if you have traveled anywhere, come in close contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or if you have tested positive yourself. Precisely describe what your symptoms are so that you can help protect our crews.
8. If you are actively coughing or sneezing and have symptoms of the flu-like illness, please wear a mask (if you have one) or face covering to protect our providers, and please never sneeze or cough in their faces.
9. If you receive notice that you are COVID-19 positive and have no serious symptoms, please call your doctor, not 9-1-1. By doing so, you may save precious emergency room space for someone who truly needs emergency care.
Our crews stand ready to serve your EMS needs, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our crews and staff are required to come to work unless they are sick. They may work long hours without breaks. Catching a couple of minutes to eat, sleep, or even use the bathroom can be challenging in situations such as this pandemic we are now facing. This is part of the job of being an Emergency Responder, and we have the best in the country. We are asking for your help, so that our crews can continue to serve you. Please follow the guidelines above, which were put in place by the CDC, public health, and government officials to protect you, as well as our crews and staff.
We have your back, please have ours. Thank you for your support as we navigate these uncharted waters together.