Getting help via 911 may take 2-3 minutes longer now

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By RADIO.COM

The coronavirus pandemic has seemingly touched every aspect of every day life, but one downfall that you may not have expected is the increase in 911 call wait times.

With resources being used to maximum capacity, it may take longer for your 911 call to fall on helpful ears and even longer for an ambulance or emergency personnel to reach you, CNN reports.

"As resources get stretched thin, it just takes longer to respond," Shawn Baird, president of the American Ambulance Association, said.

And while many areas of the country are experiencing longer-than-usual wait times when it comes to dialing 911, most places in the country are seeing delays of up to 2 to 3 minutes. "Those tend to be averages," Baird said.

He continued, "When you're responding to a time sensitive emergency, like cardiac arrest or stroke or severe shortness of breath, diabetic emergencies - a whole host of things that are not Covid-related, but you need someone timely - a few minutes can make a real difference in the outcome."

He went on to say that if the current surge in coronavirus cases continues the way it has been, we may be "within just days or weeks of significant time delays."

Meanwhile, many Americans still assume that they will always have access to care when they need it while the coronavirus pandemic is making it hard for hospitals to keep up with the influx of patients.

"As Americans, we assume we always have access to care. We assume that the challenges of Covid are going to hit other people - not us," Dr. Ryan Stanton, a board member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said.

"We're now at the precipice that we warned about, that if we lose enough access, it's going to be access for everybody. And we could lose lives. We could have permanent damage," he continued.

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