Illness Drives Record Number of Calls to First-Aid Squad

The Huntington Community First-Aid Squad had a record number of calls in March, Chief Michael Como said Thursday.

The squad took 577 calls, making it the  busiest month in the history of the department since its founding in 1967. By the end of the month, the majority of calls involved cases of flu-like symptoms, including body aches, fevers and trouble breathing, Como said.

Under Suffolk County  guidelines issued last week, he said, crews must follow triage protocols, transporting to Huntington Hospital only those patients who are deemed to require hospital care. The decisions on who is transported are based on assessments involving the patient’s age, temperature and symptoms criteria. 

The squad is seeing fewer alcohol-related crashes to respond to, he said, but the rate of calls for other illnesses and accident remains about the same.

Even in light of the pandemic,  “we are 100 percent committed to providing services,” he said. “We urge people to only call if needed.”

The squad is made up of  276 volunteers, including EMTs, dispatchers and drivers, and about 10-15 paid paramedics. It serves most of the Town of Huntington. 


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