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Deltas who save lives

Transporting five to eight patients everyday is the norm for them.




Patient is prepared to be safely transported to a hospital by a medic of an ambulance crew. (Cherk Balagtas)

Ambulance drivers can relate to a “need of speed” when they transport patients to hospitals but they face even more risks than road accidents in performing their job.

Possible exposure to a Covid-19 patient comes with the day-to-day dangers they have to face as among the concerns of volunteer Deltas (or drivers) Fernando Vergara Jr., 31; Dennis Otivulladar, 45; and Francis Jan Moceros, 35, of different Fire and Rescue Volunteers and Emergency Response Teams.

Transporting five to eight patients everyday is the norm for them. Hospital queues no longer bore them, but they do not know when the coronavirus would hit them. What they are sure of is they could be afflicted with it if they get exposed to the virus.

That’s why they religiously wear personal protection equipment (PPE). A daily Vitamin C intake is also an added armor for them Protection is important for them as they have witnessed many deaths to their patients.

“Sometimes we feel like the effort was wasted because they died, but if we think about it, at least we tried to save them. That’s our mindset, because if the daily deaths affect us completely every time, we may not be able to get up the next day,” Vergara said.

They are thankful for the opportunities of having to undergo regular swab tests for Covid-19 and the mandatory quarantine if they are exposed to a positive patient.

It means separation from their families, though. It’s a situation that they rue sometimes.

Despite being volunteers, they also claim to have experienced discrimination from other people due to the nature of their work. They are avoided like plagues, they said.

They are lifesavers who deserve pats in the back even though they don’t expect them at this time.

Save them for later. These heroes will have their time of honor.