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COVID-19 Response Procedure

DONALD WESCOTT FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT

As we continue to face the realities of COVID-19 in our community – we wanted to make folks aware of some of the changes we are making in our response protocols.  When you call 911 our dispatchers will be asking questions that allow us to identify patients that may need to be evaluated to see if there is the need to screen for COVID-19.  Because of this, you may notice our crews dressed differently, and that a portion of our crew will stay away from the patient, and outside of the house. This is to minimize the exposure and risk both to emergency responders, and to our patients.  The emergency responders making entry into these calls will be wearing protective gowns or overalls, hoods, masks and eye protection.  It may look more like we are responding to a hazardous material call than a medical emergency.  You may also see us taking these suits off before we get back into our fire engines and placing them in a bio-hazard bag.

 

We’d like to educate the public on this and stress that when you see that it does not necessarily mean your neighbor has COVID-19, and it does not mean that you are in immediate danger.  The actions we take have shown to be effective in keeping our patients, ourselves and our communities as safe as possible.  We do ask that if you see this activity taking place you keep your distance from the fire fighters on scene.  Please allow us to work and understand that we cannot share any details with you about the emergency that we were called for.

 

Here are some more details on our response policies to potential COVID-19 cases:

-If you become ill, and it is a non-life-threatening situation, please call your Doctor for advice on how to handle your symptoms. The CDC recommends self-isolation for non-life-threatening situations.

-If you believe this is a life-threatening situation, or are unsure, call 911. Based on information given, the dispatcher may do a COVID-19 screening to alert us of any potential infection. It is our policy to do a second screening when we arrive, most likely a phone call. If a phone call is unsuccessful, we will do a screening from the doorway without entering the building. Based on our assessment at arrival, if there is a potential COVID -19 exposure, it is our policy to limit the amount of personnel entering the building to only those necessary for patient care. Please be aware that there may be nothing we can do except escort you to the waiting ambulance if transport is necessary or desired.

 

If you have any questions, please call us at 719-488-8680 and we would be happy to talk to you about the precautions we are taking during this time.  As always it is as privilege to serve our community.