When you call 911, the fire department arrives. Then, if they judge that a medical emergency is actually happening (which might take a few minutes), they will call for one of their ambulances, and transport you to the designated facility (in SF that's General Hospital), where professionals are assisting overdoses, people having psychotic episodes, bleeding gunshot or stab victims, and disoriented individuals having seizures or hallucinating. If you are still sentient, NOT bleeding, and reasonably rational, you will be put on the backburner.
To be dealt with in the fullness of time.
A friend accross the country recently called his doctor and was told to get to the emergency room stat. He did, and waited two days while they processed COVID cases. Then he left, untreated. Cardiac palpitations, a heart attack less than a month ago.
Last year another friend had a stroke. Then had a few more in the emergency room, because they were flooded with COVID cases in an area of this country where most of the citizens still refuse to acknowledge that there is a pandemic, mask-wearers were sneered at and threatened, and where fewer people are vaccinated than the national average.
Four years ago a different friend was hauled into the emergency room. After delayed treatment (rushed and therefore less than fully competent), he ended up with infected bladder and kidneys and in far worse health than he should have been.
Most of his organs were affected.
When my appendix ruptured, and after hours of excruciating pain I decided that I would not be able to head to to work that morning, instead of calling 911, I took a taxi to the nearest hospital (not General), got there in less than five minutes (the taxi driver did not take my vitals and try to ascertain whether I needed to get treatment, but stepped on the gas prontpo) and was promptly admitted and on a gurney within a very short time indeed.
I was the only person requiring attention at five A.M..
That was over two years ago.
In San Bernardino County, a resident at a care facility which had called emergency services was very carefully and attentively NOT assisted by the fire department; they would not enter despite urgency, desperate measures, and cardiac arrest. They stood outside refusing to do anything at all, because they had been told to avoid such situations during Covid by their superiors, with an imperfectly remembered or understood memo).
Naturally no firefighter got infected.
The subject died.
'An outdated April 2020 coronavirus memo from the San Bernardino County Fire Chiefs' Association which noted that "personnel responding to long-term care facilities" should take steps to "minimize any potential risk for exposure," -- One solution was for the dispatch centers to request the facility bring the patient outside. But the memo also said that if a patient cannot be moved, a first responder can enter and "interact with the patient." '
SOURCE: Cardiac Arrest -- Paramedics Refused To Enter
The main points of this are don't call 911, and avoid the main emergency room in your city at all costs. Especially during this pandemic. Also, an ambulance -- if one actually is summoned AFTER the fire department has made sure you are dying -- will cost you several hundred dollars. You don't need fire fighters or the police if you are having a cardiac arrest.
That's not their competence or main skillset.
Further note: a few weeks ago an elderly Cantonese gentleman fell and hurt his head slightly less than one block away from San Francisco Chinese Hospital. The emergency responders (Fire Department) called an ambulance, which nearly half an hour after he stumbled took him to SF General Hospital, all the way across the city, where there are fewer Cantonese speaking staff, despite there being an emergency room one block away. And SF General tends to bill at exorbitant rates to make up for the many non-payment capables who end up there (that being the previously mentioned overdoses, people having psychotic episodes, bleeding gunshot or stab victims, and disoriented individuals having seizures or hallucinating).
If that happens to me, I'll fight off the emergency responders with my stick and stumble my ass up the block to SF Chinese Hospital. I happen to know that they're extremely competent there.
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