Enterprise Rescue makes transport to Tennessee hospital

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:06 PM CDT
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ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WTVY) -- As hospital beds around the country are filled with patients, emergency medical services find themselves struggling.

Captain Anthony Cole with Enterprise Rescue says the stress COVID-19 has put on the Enterprise Rescue squad and its vehicles is unlike anything he’s seen in his 50 years in EMS.

“COVID people are taking up so much space in the hospitals that there’s no place for him to go. So, we’re ranging out further and further.”

Enterprise Rescue has made trips as far east as Jacksonville, Florida, as far south as Tampa, Florida and recently as far north as Tennessee.

“We transferred somebody the other day to Nashville to the hospital there to Vanderbilt, because that was the only bed that was available.”

This transport was not a COVID-19 related patient. Transports are common, but are typically made to areas like Birmingham, Mobile and Pensacola.

“That took them out for over 12 hours. So, we have to bring in somebody else to cover the town to replace that vehicle, or it puts a load on the ones that are still here,” said Captain Cole.

Long transports are not the only issue Enterprise Rescue is facing. The number of calls have nearly doubled since the start of the pandemic.

“We’re looking at about 1,000 a month right now, where we’re covering the whole county and we’re going to several different hospitals in the area.”

Cole says the last year and a half has been harsh on his squad.

“The availability of crew is hard. People are tired, most of them have to work more than one job just to support their family.”

It’s also been hard for their vehicles putting more wear and tear than usual on the fleet of ambulances. The main reason why Coffee County Commission is allotting funds for a new one.

“I have got one [ambulance] in the shop right now that’s got an engine that has to be put in it. That’s about $18,000 that we’re looking at.”

Enterprise Rescue says it hopes to have the newest ambulance in service by mid-November.

Enterprise Rescue has several of its medics in critical care school as the new ambulance will also serve as a critical care unit.

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