SC EMS providers increasingly concerned by bed bugs

Calhoun County EMS reached out to other agencies for advice on how to prevent infestations, which included carrying minimal equipment into homes

By EMS1 Staff

CALHOUN COUNTY, S.C. — A recent bed bug infestation in an ambulance revealed that bed bugs are a growing problem for EMS providers in South Carolina.

WLTX reported that a Calhoun County EMS ambulance was most likely contaminated with bed bugs by a patient who had bed bugs in their home, according to Assistant EMS director Crystal Youmans.

Youmans said the problem is growing around the state, and Calhoun County reached out to other agencies for advice on how to prevent the infestations.

Beaufort County EMS and Horry County Fire Department suggested bringing minimal equipment into homes that are suspected to have bed bugs, and to wrap patients in a cocoon once they are inside the ambulance.

"It's a really big issue and bed bugs are kind of hard to get rid of," Sandy Run Exterminating owner Mike McKoy said. "It takes three or four treatments to get rid of them."

Youmans said the agency now uses mattress covers to avoid an infestation.

"We don't want our families as far as our EMS people to go home with it and take it to their families and we don't want to take it to anybody else," Youmans said. "I think it's going to be a growing problem that we are going to have to handle better."

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