Brevard residents warned to only call for ambulance or go to ER for true emergency

Brevard County’s Emergency Management Director and the Brevard County Fire Rescue Chief are pleading with the public to only to the emergency room or call an ambulance if you truly have an emergency.   

The two men are asking residents to consider other options before taxing ambulance services with non-emergency calls and showing up at the ER for a COVID test when tests are offered at local drug stores and many primary care physicians’ offices.  

The warning comes as all three of the county's hospital systems are experiencing a "troubling influx of patients with COVID-19 symptoms in the ERs." 

Brevard County Fire Rescue Chief Mark Schollmeyer said those unnecessarily going to the ER are slowing response times for those who truly need emergency care.  

"We’ve had a couple instances where a hospital in the county has gone on diversion because they’re at capacity with patients which causes a delay because then our closest units to the particular hospital have to transport outside their zone to another hospital further away," Chief Schollmeyer said.  

 Schollmeyer said chest pain, shortness of breath, and allergic reactions are some of the things that are considered true emergency situations. 

WATCH FOX 35 News for the latest Central Florida headlines.