KAUAKAUNA — Kaukauna Fire Chief Jake Carrel says ambulance services in Kaukauna are being strained by COVID-19 and he’s urging residents to do everything they can to stop the spread of the virus.

In an urgent plea Friday on the department’s Facebook page, Carrel said the department is seeing a substantial increase in the number of COVID positive patients needing emergency services and transport to the hospital.

“We are not at a breaking point yet, but the trend is alarming,” Carrel said. “Our Firefighter/Paramedics continue to put forth extraordinary efforts in serving Kaukauna during these difficult times.”

Carrel says many of these patients are seriously ill, putting an enormous strain on the department’s ability to maintain the high level of service and readiness.

“COVID-related calls are putting units out of service longer due to the additional care required to treat these patients and the additional time for proper decontamination of equipment and personnel,” Carrel said.

This is leading to some delayed responses as well as times where there are no units or personnel available to respond to the next emergency.

“But I am here today to ask you to help us,” Carrel said. “I want to ensure that your fire department remains available to serve your family, friends, and neighbors in their time of need.”