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Surge in calls amid current COVID wave ties up San Antonio EMS units for 26 minutes on Thursday

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San Antonio Fire Department vehicles respond to an emergency call last year. - FACEBOOK / SAN ANTONIO FIRE DEPARTMENT
  • Facebook / San Antonio Fire Department
  • San Antonio Fire Department vehicles respond to an emergency call last year.
All of San Antonio's available EMS units were tied up for 26 minutes on Thursday due to a surge in 911 calls for COVID-19 and other emergencies, KSAT reports.

San Antonio City Manager Erik Walsh said all 39 available units were in use for that nearly half-hour period, according to the TV station. San Antonio Fire Department officials said they were able to answer and respond to all 911 calls during that time, but some callers' transports to local hospitals may have been delayed.


“We can’t transport any emergency medical calls, whether it’s COVID or not, whether it’s someone who’s vaccinated or not," Walsh said, according to KSAT. "That means we’re not transporting heart attacks, traffic accidents or any other sort of medical call. So it is critical."

The revelation is another alarming sign of the strain the delta variant is putting on local hospitals and first responders.

Bexar County hospitalizations for COVID-19 hit 1,267 Thursday, an increase from the 1,242 reported on Tuesday.

At present, 64% of the eligible population in Bexar County has been fully vaccinated, according to local officials.

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