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MARTINEZ (KPIX) — The Omicron surge of sick patients has not only put stress on Contra Costa County hospitals, it’s also impacting ambulances and fire crews in the county.

Calls for paramedics keep pouring into the 911 dispatch center. Ambulances at an alarming rate are responding to those with COVID-like symptoms and resources have been stretched thin.

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“We have had to rely on a couple of times in the last few weeks is dispatching one of our paramedics on a fire engine, that’s not uncommon to do that,” says Steve Hill, a spokesperson with the Contra Costa County Fire Department.

It’s not just the number of calls, but in some cases patients are sitting in ambulances as they wait to be admitted into emergency rooms, tying up vital resources.

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In Contra Costa County, there are 61 COVID patients in ICU as of Monday, down from the peak it hit last week. ConFire has had to reach out to outside agencies for help.

“We have contracted with private ambulance companies to provide additional ambulances in the fleet during this time of additional stress on the system,” says Hill.

Dispatchers have been key in determining the severity of each case over the phone.

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Even with the stress on the system, ConFire assures the public every call will be answered with the appropriate resources. The agency encourages the public though to make the right call, whether its to their primary care physician, to urgent care or 911.

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Cave Spring Police Officer Arrested on Drug Charges

Cave Spring Police Department Officer Marvin James Armstrong, age 35, of Chattooga County, GA, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to possess fentanyl, conspiracy to possess methamphetamine, conspiracy to possess Percocet and use of a communication facility during the commission of a felony. Terry Lee Wheeler, age 52, of Floyd County, GA, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute Percocet, and use of a communication facility during the commission of a felony. Both men were taken to the Floyd County Jail.

The GBI West Metro Regional Drug Enforcement Office (WMRDEO) investigation revealed that Armstrong and Wheeler were participating in multiple drug transactions in Rome, GA, and surrounding areas. The joint investigation included the Rome Floyd Metro Task Force, Atlanta-Carolinas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Initiative (HIDTA), Rome Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, and the Georgia State Patrol Criminal Interdiction Unit.

GBI WMRDEO is a multi-jurisdictional drug task force comprised of GBI Special Agents and GBI Task Force Agents assigned from the Carrollton Police Department, Villa Rica Police Department, Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, Newnan Police Department, Heard County Sheriff’s Office, LaGrange Police Department, Atlanta Police Department, and Bowdon Police Department.  The Rome Floyd Metro Task Force is comprised of Task Force Agents from the City of Rome Police Department, Floyd County Police Department and Floyd County Sheriff’s Department. The North Georgia HIDTA is comprised of DEA Special Agents and Task Force Officers from the City of Rome Police Department, Polk County Police Department, Floyd County Police Department, and Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office.

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