A Georgia hospital that's stretched beyond capacity with COVID-19 patients has asked for help from firefighters and the sheriff's office

·2 min read
georgia coronavirus vaccine
Emergency room nurse David Wilson receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, right, looks on outside the Chatham County Health Department on December 15, 2020 in Savannah, Georgia. Sean Rayford/Getty Images
  • Firefighters could soon help out at AdventHealth Gordon, a hospital in Georgia stretched by COVID-19.

  • The county administrator said the hospital was over capacity and had asked him for help.

  • Firefighters or other helpers could restock medical equipment and ensure people wear masks, he said.

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A hospital in Georgia that's full beyond capacity with COVID-19 patients could soon turn to local firefighters for help.

AdventHealth Gordon hospital in Calhoun, Georgia, has 69 beds but more than 100 patients, most of whom have COVID-19, according to officials.

Jim Ledbetter, county administrator at Gordon County, Georgia, said that the workforce at the hospital was "stretched pretty thin" and that staff were "pretty tired," the Chattanooga Free Press reported on Thursday. "The hospital came to us for help and we decided to do what we can," Ledbetter said.

Ledbetter said that local firefighters and people working for the sheriff's office had already expressed interest in working at the hospital, the Chattanooga Free Press reported.

Anyone working voluntary extra shifts at the hospital would be paid, and would need to be fully-vaccinated, Ledbetter said, per the report. There would be a mandatory 12-hour break between county and hospital shifts, Ledbetter said.

Ledbetter said volunteers would only provide medical care under supervision of a nurse or doctor.

"People's nerves have been frayed with the pandemic and they don't always want to mask. Some people have been getting testy about that, so that's something our police could help with that would take a lot of stress off hospital staff," he said, as reported by Chattanooga Free Press.

Gordon County has 74.9 new daily cases per 100,000 people, according to Covid Act Now, which uses data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Department of Health and Human Services. Georgia as a whole has 67.1 daily new cases per 100,000.

The county has fully-vaccinated 38% of its population, according to Covid Act Now. The US average is 53.8%.

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