Overwhelmed first responders are warning of long wait times for people coming to emergency rooms. A spokesperson for the Sacramento Metro Fire District says ambulances are getting backed up hospitals at local hospitals due to staffing shortages and the lack of open beds. He says they are waiting hours and having to care for multiple patients in order to keep up with the demand. Not only is it a public safety problem, it's costing the region millions. Last November alone, CBS 13 reports the region spent $500,000 for first responders to wait with those patients. This extra wait time also leaves fire fighters and paramedics open to more Covid exposure while waiting at hospitals and sick patients.
U.C. Davis' Medical Center in particular is experiencing a high number of non-emergency 9-1-1 calls and says that even in a patient arrives by ambulance, it does not guarantee the patient will be seen immediately. The hospital sent CBS 13 this statement: “The staff is working hard to treat every patient. However, anyone coming to the emergency department should expect longer than normal wait times due to the record-high number of patients. Twice in the past three weeks, our emergency department has set new records for the most patients seen in a single day — and our hospital has been here for 150 years.”