LUBBOCK, Texas — For EMS and Lubbock Fire Rescue, they’re some of the first people to come in contact with potential COVID-19 patients.
That’s why EMS Services Director, Thomas Moore, said they’ve added additional safety measure when responding to medical calls.
“Whenever they arrive to the location of a call where someone exhibits signs or symptoms,” Moore said. “They will don a Tyvek Suit, an N95 mask, full face shield as well as gloves.”
Moore said the coronavirus has not increased their call volume, but whenever someone calls 911, dispatch now asks a series of questions to determine if the victim has symptoms, or potential exposure to COVID-19.
“Whether or not the individual has been around anyone who has COVID-19,” Moore said. “Whether they have a fever, have any other signs or symptoms based off the research that has been done.”
Moore said almost hourly EMS and Lubbock Fire Rescue respond to calls where there’s a potential exposure risk.
In an effort to limit any further exposure, Lieutenant Phillip Grandon, with Lubbock Fire Rescue, said if EMS arrives to the scene first, LFR will wait in their trucks. Then, if EMS decides LFR is not essential, they can leave.
Grandon says it’s equally important for firefighters not only to wear the proper protective gear, but to dispose of it correctly as well.
“We’re not gonna touch anything with our bare hands,” Grandon said. “Everything is done with someone else removing the gear from that person, and before that they’re sprayed down with a disinfectant solution.”