Travis County first responders to get more rest with new sleep rooms

AUSTIN, Texas -- It's a job that never ends and can be physically demanding on the body. Emergency Medical Services workers in Travis County work a variety of shifts, that can range from 12 to 24-hour work schedules.

Days and nights are unpredictable. 

Some believe it takes a special group of people to respond to emergency calls at a moments notice.

Division Chief Wesley Hopkins with the Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services is one of them.

Monday Hopkins spoke to KVUE about safe sleep rooms created to help EMS workers sleep off sleep deprivation.

"Everything you need when you get off shift is there. When you don"t have anything else, you can make it over to the station. We'll even have a commander come and drive you over if you don' want to drive and you can go to that safe sleep room and it's all inclusive," Hopkins said.

Five EMS Stations in Travis County will have safe sleep rooms. 

They're located in North, Central and South Austin. The safe sleep room in Travis County is sound proof, with a bed, clock, fan, and even blackout curtains. Hopkins said getting much-needed rest can be difficult with the current setup using dorm rooms.

"The problem with that is that there is no way to turn off the tones. There are different lockers in there, so as a crew comes in to relieve you, then they have to go in the room and wake you up. So, sometimes crews would have to tip-toe in and get stuff out of the room," Hopkins said.

EMS workers paid for all the materials in the Safe Sleep Rooms at a minimal cost. The department is hoping to add more rooms at EMS stations around Travis County this year.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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