Area ambulance services reporting more flu calls

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Flu season is here and many local EMS squads are seeing increased calls for service for people with flu-like symptoms.

"Looking at our data, we could see we had a bit of a spike around Christmas Week and it kind of knocked off a little bit and we're just starting to see an uptick again," Rob Lawrence, with Richmond Ambulance Authority, said

EMS first responders understand the seasonal flu.

"This is probably our busiest time of the year, not just here in Central Virginia but throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, with the flu season in , everybody stays real, real busy," said Bubby Bish, who heads up the Southside Virginia Emergency Crew.

In fact, some squads have shifted crews to meet demands while others are working extra hours.

Officials said that the 911 calls from people with flu-like symptoms usually start declining in February.

EMS providers said that if you feel you symptoms are life threatening, call 911. Otherwise, contact your primary care physician to free up ambulances for more serious calls.

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