Flu has big impact on EMS workers in Sedgwick County

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. Sedgwick County EMS saw record calls in January.

“I think we exceeded 5800 calls for the last month. Which is the most calls Sedgwick County EMS has run in its over 40 year history,” said Captain Cole Mitchell.

Mitchell says the high flu numbers are likely playing a role.

“I can't imagine that it's just a coincidence that it all happened in one month, with as bad as it's been,” said Mitchell. “This stuff is spreading like wildfire.”

January saw roughly 190 calls a day for Sedgwick County EMS. We don't know yet how many of those calls are because of the flu. Those numbers are still being calculated.

But Mitchell can't ignore what he's seeing with the widespread flu.

“This has been probably the worst year I’ve seen it, since I’ve been here, as far as the flu goes,” Mitchell admitted.

That high volume is a strain on everyone.

“The hospitals, both Wesley and the Via Christi system, we are all trying to work through this together,” Mitchell explained. “We are having to be partners and trying to deal with this outbreak.”

Mitchell says keeping paramedics healthy and able to answer calls is critical, and he encourages anyone who is sick to try and keep others safe.

“Preventing the further spread of it I think is the big thing. For instance, if your kid has a fever, don't take them to school,” Mitchell said.