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April 7, 2014

Honolulu EMS battling bed bug problems in ambulances


HONOLULU, Hawaii —Paramedics are not quite ready to dial 911, but more and more, city ambulances are becoming contaminated with bed bugs.

"One just happened, actually, on my last shift when the person didn't even realize that he had bed bugs," said paramedic Jojo Abuan, who's been with the city's Department of Emergency Medical Services for nearly six years.

The problem of bed bugs is also forcing EMS to ask for more resources from the Honolulu City Council. In the current fiscal year, the department is spending $17,000 to decontaminate ambulances of bed bugs. During the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, that cost is expected to rise to $25,200. "It is going to go into good use and it's going to keep ambulances in service, which will lead to lives saved," said EMS spokeswoman Shayne Enright.

Full story: Paramedics encountering more bed bugs