MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — With another round of winter weather possible this weekend, first responders and emergency crews are on alert once again.
Medic, Mecklenburg EMS Agency, is preparing to respond in case of any winter weather emergencies.
“We’ve had a lot of prep in the last couple of weeks,” Matt Lewis, assistant operations manager for Medic said. “We have all of our four-wheel-drive ambulances ready to deploy with ice melt and other winter weather supplies to mitigate slick surfaces.”
It’s a one, two, three punch for the Queen City as winter weather is in the forecast for the third weekend in a row.
The last two weekends, Medic says it has seen people getting out on the roads and getting into trouble in slick spots.
Lewis said the minor calls for service can take up valuable resources and time.
“We are asking people to stay off the roads that way we can have our units stay in place and ready for high acuity things like chest pain or shortness of breath or cardiac arrest,” Lewis said.
The winter weather comes as Medic has been facing staffing shortages this month, with several employees in isolation due to COVID-19.
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Lewis said many are back on the job, and it is staffed up heading into the weekend thanks to offering incentives, such as double-time pay, double-time-and-a half-pay, and added vacation time in some cases.
“With our incentives that we have employed right now and other overtime issues that we’re working through,” Lewis said. “I think that we’re still maintaining a good staffing level.”
It also still has the help of a FEMA Strike Team, adding two ambulances during the day and at night.
But even with more people ready to handle the calls if needed, Medic is still urging drivers to stay home if the snowflakes start to fall.
“If you don’t have to be on the roadways,” Lewis added, “Stay off the roadways.”