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Public Health moves back to Level 1 of EMS System Surge Plan

Kern County Public Health Services Department

On March 1, Kern County’s EMS system has met the threshold for Level 1, or the green tier, of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) System Surge Plan and officially moves from the yellow tier to the green tier, the lowest of the four tiers.

This movement is due to an improvement in the following areas:

• Volume of 911 calls

• Ambulance availability due to decreased ambulance COVID-19 decontamination needs

• Patient offload times at hospitals

• Percentage of staff impacted by COVID-19

On December 30, 2020, Kern County Public Health’s Emergency Medical Services Program implemented a new EMS System Surge Plan. This plan was launched in response to the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our hospitals and our emergency response system. The plan allows for flexibility in garnering additional resources and prioritizing the most critical emergency calls to best serve our residents during emergencies.

“Meeting the threshold to move to Level 1 is encouraging news and an indication that Kern County is beginning to emerge from the COVID-19 winter surge,” said Brynn Carrigan, Director of Kern County Public Health. “We thank our residents for doing their part to help slow the spread of this disease.”

Public Health asks everyone to remain vigilant by eating healthy, exercising, wearing a mask when in public, washing their hands often, avoid gathering and getting the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available and is your turn.

The County will continue to monitor and evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on the EMS system and will make appropriate decisions to ensure the EMS system continues to provide the best emergency response and care to our residents without interruption.

To view the EMS System Surge Plan, visit our website at http://www.kernpublichealth.com.