He says medics have extra protections from COVID-19
Frederick, Md (KM) So far, there’s been four cases of the of the coronavirus reported in Frederick County. But if there are any more, the Division of Fire and Rescue Services and the volunteer companies are ready. “So our mission really doesn’t change in pandemic event like the coronavirus,” says DFRS Chief Tom Coe. “It’s been on our radar since late December, early January.”
Coe says his agency has been working closely on this issue with the County’s Division of Emergency Management, Frederick Health Hospital and the Health Department.
Part of that has included the installation of barriers in each ambulance which separates the patients being transported and the driver. That separates the air movement between the two, Coe says.
Along with that, the personal protective equipment has been upgraded among medics to include facemasks, eye protection, gowns, booties and gloves. “And they wear that not only for the protection of themselves, but for the protection of the patient and the patient’s family,” he says. “If in fact that person that would be the host of a virus, personal protective equipment helps to limit that spread.”
And he says citizens who see medics in that protective gear, should not be frightened. “That’s there to protect both us and them. No different than our structural fire fighter protective equipment. protects us from the hazards of a structure fire,” he says.. “This protective equipment allows us to better do our job and keep everyone safer. So they should not be alarmed when they see an EMS provider wear that at the hospital or out on the scene of an incident.”
In addition, dispatchers at the Emergency Communications Center have been instructed to ask certain questions of any caller whose asking for police, or fire and rescue services. “If anyone in that household has a cough or a fever,” Chief Coe says. “That allows our first responders of any agency to be poised to take precautionary measure to not become exposed to any viral content.”
By Kevin McManus