Honolulu EMS sees sharp rise in 911 calls, asks public to call for emergencies only

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu Emergency Services 911 system reported it had over 300 calls on Monday, Jan. 10 and about half of those were not real emergencies.

EMS crews said the non-emergency calls take away from the resources needed to attend to emergencies.

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This results in longer response times, and longer wait times at emergency rooms,

“Things like I have gout pain in my foot,”said EMS director James Ireland. “Or I need a ride to my doctor’s office, and he’s full or she’s full. So can you take me to the er instead? I’m feeling ok but I’m a little hungry. These are actual 911 calls. So really our paramedics are super human. Our EMTs are super human but they’re still human.”

“Our call volume within the past two weeks has increased astronomically,” said paramedic Sunny Fitzgerald. “I’d say anywhere from average we’re running on a 12-hr shift. We’re running anywhere from 15 to 25 calls a shift, which is exhausting.”

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EMS said now put calls in cue, and respond to them based on severity. Less severe cases may have to wait a little longer for a crew to respond.

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