April 11, 2020 | From Fox News
A non-profit doctors’ group is going above and beyond on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis, as first responders are drowned by an unprecedented volume of 911 calls.
“It’s crazy out there right now,” Dr. Mark Merlin, founder and CEO of MD1, told Fox News. “We’re getting one 911 call after the next.”
MD1 is a group of volunteer emergency physicians who help treat patients alongside ambulance teams throughout New Jersey and in surrounding states.
YOU CAN PRAY FOR THESE DOCTORS USING THE PRAYER POINTS SUGGESTED BY A PHYSICIAN.
CLICK HERE TO SEE PRAYER POINTS.
“We literally go into any 911 system, fire department or police department that can’t keep up — at their request — and we help them out,” said Merlin. “We’re going on EMS calls right now because in the last couple of days, the volume had been so high.”
New York Fire Department EMS Lieutenant Anthony Almjoera told Fox News last week that emergency medical services workers are receiving — on a daily basis — the same volume of 911 calls that they did during the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
“Right now, we’re worried,” said Merlin. “We’re worried about the front line people… We’ve lost younger people. We’ve lost people who’ve retired. We’re seeing friends and family members getting sick.”
The ranks of MD1 are filled by doctors who are not paid for their work.
“This is just something that you do at a time of crisis… You don’t home, you sleep in the garage or some first aid squad building until the crisis resolves.”
They are emergency, pediatric emergency, and critical care medicine physicians, equipped with vehicles that perform the functions of emergency department operating rooms.
“These people — they’re my heroes,” said Merlin of the doctors working with MD1. “They do this at night, on the weekends. It’s the way they were brought up. It’s what they believe from the time they were young.
“This is just something that you do at a time of crisis. You step up to the plate and you don’t go home, you sleep in the garage or some first aid squad building until the crisis resolves.”
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Merlin said his doctors would normally respond to 20 calls a day, most involving car accidents or incidents involving multiple patients. Now MD1 is handling 100 to 200 calls in a 24-hour period, and as of Tuesday, one doctor alone responded to 35 cases.
“One of my docs was out last night until 3:00, 4:00 in the morning when the 911 system started to die down a little bit, which never used to be the case. Now there could be three, four, five, six, seven calls waiting at any one time — of critical patients.”
Additionally, the stakes are higher as first responders and MD1 doctors are entering the homes of COVID-19 victims.
“These people are going into somebody’s home — that’s where the virus is — you’re in a closed area.”
Merlin said a shared sense of mission holds the front line community together, “We think of each other as brothers and sisters… We believe in this higher purpose.”
The New York Post reported that as of Monday night, 19.3 percent of the NYPD’s 36,000 uniformed officers had called out sick. Ten civilian employees, four auxiliary police volunteers, and one police detective have died from complications of coronavirus, as of Wednesday, April 8, according to the New York Daily News. New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum last month that the NYPD does not have time to mourn the officers that they have lost.
“We will mourn, but it won’t be today,” said Shea. “There is just too much work to do.”
“We need to give our providers a break,” added Merlin. “We’ve lost 20, 30 percent of our workforce… that’s the reason we’re on the road all day long and all night long.”
(Excerpt from Fox News. Article by Matt London.)