Waterbury ambulance crews cope with rise in COVID calls, Delta variant

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) –At the filing of this report, the mayor’s office says Waterbury has seen 409 COVID cases over the last 20 days. You’ll often see EMS crews from Trinity Health of New England responding to some of those calls.

Paramedic Kristian Fazzone says he does it because he loves helping people. But he’s concerned about what he and his partner have seen lately with the Delta variant causing an increase in calls. Fazzone caught COVID back in December — a week after he got vaccinated.

“I’m presuming I got it at work,” he said. “Back in December, we were going through that second wave and there were a lot, a lot of COVID patients.”

One of his biggest concerns on the job came true. He says after he got COVID, so did his daughter, who is now 13. He’s grateful they’re both okay.

He told News 8 that kind of emotional toll of the job combined with rising numbers again can make for some tough days.

“I think we’re all getting tired,” he said.

According to the mayor’s office, Waterbury has seen a recent rise in COVID-19 cases and more than 17,300 since the pandemic began.

Fazzone and his teammate on the job in the ambulance told News 8 somewhere along the line, something started to change when they responded to calls.

“Whether it’s a 911 caller or when we get on scene, sometimes patients aren’t always as forthcoming with information and that makes it a little difficult and frustrating with the right course of action that we need to go with in terms of protecting ourselves and the patient,” Fazzone said. “COVID status, whether they’re vaccinated, if they’ve been around anyone or in situations where they may’ve possibly gotten COVID.”

Now, about a year and a half into the pandemic, News 8 asked Fazzone what his biggest concern is in terms of protection.

“My concern is for those who are unvaccinated,” he said. “That’s really the majority of what we’re seeing. We need to get people vaccinated so that if they do get COVID it’s not going to be as severe.”

Fazzone credits his ambulance partner, EMT Chris Dillon, for helping him to keep his morale up during this tough time on the frontlines of this pandemic.

“For peace of mind I try to go to my happy place,” said Fazzone. “And with the help of my partner, I think we stay pretty relaxed and well off mentally.”

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