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'A constant moving target' | Gaston County EMS adjusting to COVID-19 demands

The agency has treated about 50 to 60 patients who had possible symptoms of COVID-19 though not all of them tested positive.

GASTONIA, N.C. — Gaston County EMS continues to change its protocols as it adjusts to the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic

Gaston County EMS (GEMS) has treated about 50 to 60 patients who had possible symptoms of COVID-19 though not all of them ended up testing positive.

Deputy Chief Jamie McConnell said no employees have gotten sick from the coronavirus.

in fact, he said employees used less sick days over the last two weeks.

"That speaks volumes to the fact that they've stepped up to the challenge," Dep. Chief McConnell said. "They're coming to work. They're making sure they're healthy so that we can take care of the residents and visitors of Gaston County."

All GEMS employees get their temperature checked before they start their day.

As a result of in-person training being canceled, GEMS shoots training videos to send out every time they get new guidelines on how to decontaminate ambulances and use personal protective equipment.

Dep. Chief McConnell said they have enough N95 masks to last them a few weeks, but they need to replenish their boot covers and gowns.

He said they're filling as many vacancies as they can and requesting additional positions as a contingency if they get hit hard with the virus.

"It's keeping us busy," Dep. Chief McConnell said. "It's a constant moving target with the change in protocols, changing practices, making sure our people are safe so we're trying our best to stay on top of it."

GEMS is asking everyone in Gaston County to follow the state stay-at-home order and practice social distancing.


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