Laid-off Calif. EMTs join medical investigation team

The team is tasked with interviewing COVID-19 patients and identifying their contacts

By Laura French

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. — A group of California EMTs who were laid off due to falling call volumes during the pandemic have been recruited as members of a COVID-19 medical investigation team. 

American Ambulance laid off 15 of its recently-hired EMTs after its call volume fell by 25%, according to GV Wire. After the layoffs, American Ambulance Director of Human Resources Bob Adams learned that the Fresno County Health Department was looking to recruit medical investigators and that the EMTs possessed the skill set needed for the job. 

Now, 13 of the 15 laid off EMTs have begun training as medical investigators under an agreement between the county and the ambulance service. 

The medical investigation team will be tasked with interviewing COVID-19 patients and identifying their contacts, as well as providing them with guidance on how to care for themselves during their illness. The investigators can then connect those who may have been exposed with contact tracers, who will reach out to them with further guidance to reduce the spread. 

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