TANEY COUNTY, Mo. – In the month of July, the Taney County Ambulance District (TCAD) had a 30% higher call volume than they did the previous year. Also, the number of emergency calls in 2020 was higher than average due to the pandemic.
“30% jump in one year is pretty extreme for us,” said Public Information Officer for the Taney County Ambulance District, Johnathan Tudor. “It could be an increase in people here in the Branson area on vacation as well as other disease processes that are just requiring more emergency response.”
Not only has there been an increase in emergency calls, but the ambulance district is also transporting covid-19 patients from nearby hospitals to other states due to a lack of hospital beds in the region.
“We were transferring up into Illinois,” said Tudor. “Over into Kansas and Oklahoma and even down into Arkansas. Now that really increases the call load for the crews that are still back here.”
The Taney County Ambulance District is currently being assisted by federal strike teams to send patients to other hospitals, sometimes hundreds of miles away. Before the federal strike team arrived, Tudor said the district was receiving help from both the Missouri and Arkansas state governments.
“I can’t even tell you how many,” said Tudor. “They took a lot of those transfers, and especially those really long ones over into Illinois or up into Iowa. They would take our crews out for 12 to 14, 16 hours.”
Tudor says the district has also added a new ambulance in response to the drastic rise in call volume.