Georgia, Senate, Georgia Public Broadcasting discussed on All Things Considered
Welcome. Thank you. I want to start with some of these new directives that we've been hearing about, like not bringing in patients who have little likelihood of survival. Can you just put that in context for us? How extraordinary is that measure? Well, actually, it is best practice to resuscitate patients in cardiac arrest. In the field where there are found. That is our normal protocol in L, a county so the shift towards not transporting patients who do not have Restoration of pulse is a relatively small change. These patients have very limited chance of survival. And so these are the patients that were asking the paramedics to call into our base. Hospitals discussed with the base physician and determine if further resuscitation is futile and therefore terminate resuscitation on scene. We are continuing to resuscitate. Patients in cardiac arrest, and we continue to transport all patients in whom are paramedics are able to resuscitate in the field. I do also want to address the oxygen situation. How concerned should Angelenos be about the availability of oxygen right now? Because we are hearing from people like Barbara for rare? Who's the L, A County public health director. She's saying that January will likely be the worst month on record for L. A. So I imagine oxygen supplies will only get stretched even more in the weeks to come. Yes, we have made this move because of a limited supply of portable oxygen tanks. So we are having difficulty getting additional portable oxygen tanks for R E. M s system and filling the oxygen tanks and because of the paramedics are Any MTs are spending more time in the field with patients. They are transporting longer distances because of hospital closures. They're spending more time waiting to offload patients at hospitals on these patients need oxygen. And so they're using a lot of oxygen in these small portable tanks, and if we cannot get additional tanks and cannot fill the tanks, we risk to run out of oxygen for patients who need it. So this directive is meant to conserve oxygen in order to make sure that we continue to have enough oxygen to treat patients. Really, really need the oxygen. You mentioned that the waits for ambulances to offload patients at hospitals is getting longer and I want to talk about that because obviously, paramedics are not doctors. What is being done to address that situation these longer wait times for ambulances at hospitals. Yes, we are implementing a surge response to develop ambulance receiving spaces of these hospitals. These are intended to be climate controlled spaces where AMs can offload patients. On. And instead of having each individual unit usually two paramedics or to him, he empties monitoring a single patient. They will be able to offload the patients and have a paramedic or empty as appropriate, staffing the area and monitoring several patients at a time. This is, of course, being done in conjunction with a hospital triage officer. And we have a medical officer on duty 24 7 to help consults in terms of identifying the most critical patients and getting them into the hospital's quickly as possible and determining which patients may be stable, say to go to the waiting room and be triaged and through The walk in process and by this way, we're trying to get more ambulances back into the field to respond to the critical emergencies and reduce the burden on the hospitals as well, because we know they don't have the staff to monitor these patients. But with these patients need monitoring, and they need oxygen, right? So as reports are coming out of Los Angeles, but the city and the county what do you want people to understand about the situation here in Los Angeles? The reality is this. Things are worse than people think. And I say that because I see how people are, you know, still congregating in groups and Making decisions to have family gatherings or New year's parties. And these decisions are what continues to impact our health care system, so I know it's been said so many times. But what we're trying to convey to everyone from the public health sector is continue the measures that people did such a good job of in April that will prevent the spread of covert. They're part of you. That's just getting tired of repeating this guidance. Stay at home. Don't congregate. Are you getting tired of repeating that? No, I just wish we had a better way of conveying it away. That really convinces people that it's absolutely necessary if we had on the way to message this to show people what we're seeing. And, you know, convey that tragedy that is coming because we have not been able to fully contain this virus. Dr Nicole Boston, assistant medical director at the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency. Thank you very much for giving us your time today. Absolutely. Thank you. After nearly two months of extra campaigning, and nearly a billion dollars of spending Senate runoff elections here in Georgia are coming to a close tonight. The stakes are already high, incredibly high with control of the U. S Senate on the line and making the whole season more intense, the very process of who votes and how Became a central part of the debate around this election. I want to bring in reporter Stephen Fowler of Georgia Public Broadcasting. He's also the host of the podcast battleground ballot box and he has been tracking every twist and turn of this election. Hey there, Steven, How's it going? So far so good, But you know, still a few hours to go for the polls close. I know we were out talking to voters of polling stations today you've been doing the same wood would have seen how is voting in Georgia gone so far. Well, I just stepped back from my neighborhood polling place where there was no line and for the most part that's been pretty consistent across the state short. That's what we saw this morning to you know, Part of it is a ballot that only has two Senate races and a statewide public service commission race, part of it because many people early voted this election, But there's a few out liars. We went toe one large Middle Georgia pole near Senator David Produce hometown. About 1000 people had voted around lunchtime, and it's the type of precinct Republicans need to show up to cut into Democrats early voting lead. But then there's people like Wayne and Beth Lever that make things even closer when it comes to the final total. Well, uh, we voted against the Republicans this time and I've never voted Democrat. So it was a big change for me. More than three million people have voted early in person or absentee. So much of the vote has already been decided, and it's expected to be super close. Super close, All right, And this election, as you know, has been almost a smudge about how the votes are counted as who is actually on the ballot. How has that affected who is showing up to vote? Well. Mary Louise. More than a million of those ballots are absentee by mail, but Republicans have a lot of distrust of them. Many voters, especially in northwest Georgia, which is a strong Republican stronghold, are showing up to vote reluctantly because they don't trust the voting machines either in this comes as just this morning, a federal court shut down another lawsuit filed by President Trump. To invalidate seeking to invalidate Georgia's elections, saying that there was problems with the voting machines and absentee ballots and so between the holidays and the pandemic and turnout models being all over the place. It's really hard to say what the outcome is other than a lot of people don't trust how we vote anymore. Mm. Speaking of every twist and turn that you've had to follow it. Since the November election, there have been three recounts in Georgia. And yet President Trump and his allies keep hammering election officials here in Georgia for far irregularities with their falsely calling where irregularities crimes was the word that the president used at the rally he held in Dalton, Georgia, last night. Power election workers, election staff election officials, How are they holding up under the pressure? Well, you have to remember that even though today is Election Day election season, and Georgia has really been going on since September because of all the training and the testing and the early voting and the counting and the recounting and the recounting of the recounting so people are exhausted physically and mentally, and we've seen some polls have fewer workers because people have dropped out or just tapped out of doing it. You've seen the secretary of state's office get attacked publicly and privately by the president and other top Republicans on do you've seen threats pushed by bad actors on social media, targeting some workers by name, and so it really is just exhausting, let alone the actual political campaign side of this from the election Administration side. I know thousands of people that will be glad once this is all over. So with the finish line in sight, like a mirage, after all of this, what are you gonna be watching for tonight? Really? The key thing is how many Republicans show up to vote today in strongholds in rural parts of the state..