First Responders Update

By Kelly Gordon - sifrpresident@gmail.com
President, First Responders

Whether you support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or not, I think we’ve all learned more about how germs are spread over the past two years than we ever thought possible. If you’ve ever sneezed into your mask, you know exactly what I’m implying, right?

I remember the good old days when we’d sneeze into the fold of our arm, a tissue, or our hands. We’d go on with our lives, not thinking for a minute about the droplets that flew from our mouth and nose when we sneezed. If you’ve ever stood outside in the cold talking to someone, you can see droplets spraying from your mouth. It’s gross.

We’ve all learned that COVID-19 isn’t the only thing that we should try to avoid. There still is a gamut of other things out there that can make us sick. I don’t have a spleen. It’s unfortunate, yet it is what it is. I’m extra careful because my body can’t fight off a cold, the flu, a sinus infection, or COVID-19 the way others can. I’m vaccinated, yet we all know that doesn’t make someone bulletproof.

When you pick up the phone to call EMS because you’re sick, please wear a mask when help arrives. It continues to amaze me when we show up for someone who is extremely ill, symptomatic, and needing US, yet putting on a mask seems like too much of an effort; it’s selfish. We wear masks FOR YOU! As I’ve written repeatedly, you should want to wear one for us. Human decency doesn’t always have to align with your personal beliefs; it just makes sense to think of others.

Regardless of what you believe, whether you are vaccinated or not, we’ve learned that putting on a mask lowers our risk of unknowingly spreading something to another person. If I had a dollar for every person who has called the SIFR and known they had COVID-19 but didn’t bother to mask up, I could go on a fabulous trip.

We are living in unprecedented times. No one, including ANY OF YOU, knows what lies ahead regarding public health. We all are entitled to our beliefs and values, deciding about getting a vaccine or not, and of course, who we choose to be around. All we are asking is that you consider the 17 VOLUNTEER Skidaway Island First Responders who work FOR you FOR FREE.

Being immunocompromised isn’t something you can see with the naked eye. Some of us look healthy, don’t talk about what we live with, or even the health challenges we face ourselves. Regardless of whether you believe the mask works or not, we are begging that when you call us to help, you and anyone else in your home wear a mask.

We run medical calls 24-hours a day. I was on call this past weekend and had a call at 12:30 a.m., 3:30 a.m., 4:40 a.m., and 6:40 a.m. No one, except for one family member, had on a mask. If we are crawling out of bed to help you, please consider what you can do for us. This is not a big ask.

We are seeing more and more yellow medical calls when we run calls in The Landings. Thank you for taking the time to get them, fill them out, and put them in their designated place. It makes our job easier and certainly makes patient care much more thorough. You can pick up the yellow cards at The Landings Association (600 Landings Way South).

Unfortunately, we’ve run into many situations where the spouse or family member wants to ride in the ambulance with their loved one. Because of the upswing in COVID-19 cases, there are rules in place to help protect the ambulance staff, which prohibits anyone other than the patient from going to the hospital in the ambulance. This is NOT a rule the Skidaway Island First Responders has made up. If you do not drive, please make accommodations for a ride in case of an emergency.

Thank you so much to those who donated to our organization in 2021. Your financial contributions are greatly appreciated and allocated appropriately. We wouldn’t be able to operate as well as we do without your support. As always, please don’t hesitate to call us if you have a true medical emergency. If you need assistance that isn’t emergent, please make other arrangements.

Stay safe, wear your mask, wash your hands, be considerate, respect your neighbors, and most importantly, don’t ever forget how blessed we all are to live on this magnificent island.