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Paramedics Expect A Busy Fourth Of July Evening

911 call center receives calls on water rescues, alcohol and heat related incidents and fireworks.
LITTLE ROCK, AR- Water rescues, alcohol and heat related incidents, plus fireworks injuries are frequent calls paramedics respond to this Independence Day.

It started as a fairly slow day for Capt. Tish Johnson, a paramedic with the Metropolitan EMS of Little Rock. However, it didn't stay that way for long.

"On days like this, during the evening hours, it gets really busy for us and the 911 system abroad for everyone," Capt. Tish Johnson, MEMS Paramedic.

Johnson says she's always prepared for the unexpected, especially on the Fourth of July, when many people spend the holiday outdoors.

"You always gear yourself up for the potential for a child to be harmed in the water at this time of year and it's unfortunate, but that's what every paramedic gears them self up for on days like today," she says.

Johnson admits, it's every paramedic's worst nightmare.

"Near drownings or drownings, a lot of heat related incidents, alcohol related incidents involving fireworks," she says.

The calls usually start to pour in during the evening hours, as more people start to set off fireworks.

"Lots of hand injuries because they want to hold on to them or stand really close to them. Sometimes they just stand a little bit too close and they may end up down in their shirts," she says.

Johnson points out that a lot of times, people call 911, give an address and hang up. But she encourages folks to stay on the line to provide more helpful information.

"The dispatcher is trained to ask you a specific number of questions to make sure we're getting the most information that we need to prepare the crew and the dispatcher is also trained to help you and assist you before the ambulance crew even gets there."

Just that extra time on the line can help go a long way.

"As soon as it gets warm, people are more outdoors, they're having more fun, they're taking more risks," she says.

Risks paramedics caution to prevent them from showing up and ruining a fun and eventful weekend. Paramedics advise parents to keep a watchful eye on your kids, whether if they're swimming or playing with fireworks.

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