MILWAUKEE COUNTY — You may never see these essential workers on the job, but every day they provide a critical service from the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management Communications Center.
"EMS communications is pretty unique to the system, so we’re the liaison between the paramedics and the hospitals," said Sasha Aleksich, Lead Command Duty Officer with the Office of Emergency Management.
"We activate specific stroke, if you're having a heart attack, and trauma pages. I’ll gather all the information page at the hospitals," said Aleksich.
With COVID-19, that line of communication is even more important to ensure the people involved are prepared and wearing the right personal protective equipment.
Officials said the Command Duty Officers on average take about 5,000 calls per month with an average call time of about 60 seconds.
At the Communications Center, workers disinfect their stations between shifts but it is getting hard to do that.
"Right now we’re running out of cleaning supplies so right now for the communication center we could use cleaning wipes, disinfectant wipes," said Sasha.
"We want to say thank you to them but also to put out the call to say we need the resources to make sure we can continue to be there in a time of crisis," said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley.
County Executive Crowley was there Thursday to thank workers during National EMS Week.
"It’s extremely important that we utilize this time now more than ever to say thank you again to those that are on the front lines particularly our EMS workers who have helped us here in Milwaukee county and our partners across all 19 municipalities," said Crowley.
The county executive is asking the state for more money to keep government services going. This comes as supervisors say the county stands to lose at least $105 million in expected revenue because of the pandemic.
For Aleksich, some days are tougher than others but she is motivated by the chance to help people who are at their worst.
"There’s times where you know specific calls can kind of get the best of you but at the end of the day we go home and we can say that we helped the community," said Aleksich.