CHICO, Calif. – All this week Action News Now has been telling and showing viewers how local first responders are dealing with the coronavirus.
Morning Anchor Julia Yarbough talked with a Cal Fire/Butte County representative who says the agency and team members are ready for whatever may develop.
Keeping emergency response crews safe and responding to the needs of the community remain the priorities, says Cal Fire Captain John Gaddie.
Yarbough asked him, what can the public do to help first responders help them?
“Listen to what government officials are saying,” explained Captain Gaddie. “Keep social distancing, washing hands and only going out for the necessities if you need to.”
Captain Gaddie say the department is fully staffed and ready for any situation which could arise.
For the safety of the crew, Captain Gaddie says any callers to 9-1-1 are asked pre-screening questions, including:
*Do you have flu-like symptoms?
*Do you have a fever or cough?
*Have you had contact with anyone potentially exposed?
The captain says regardless of the answers, first responders will always provide professional care and make contact with the patient. The only difference? Now those first responders can take precautions in advance.
“If there is some kind of situation in which a patient is highly contagious of some kind of disease, we always have P.P.E. [personal protection equipment] measures in place to deal with those kinds of patients."
Personal Protection Equipment includes gloves, eye protection and if warranted, body gowns.
Captain Gaddie says care will be provided based on whatever signs and symptoms a person is exhibiting. He says response will be the same level of professionalism as always, adding that first responders are trained for all and any kind of emergency situations.
In addition to preparing themselves for any potential emergencies, Captain Gaddie says some Cal Fire members are working closely with public health departments. Team members are helping health experts establish what are known as “incident command structures.’
That’s standard protocol used in emergency situations and in this case, Captain Gaddie says first responders are well-trained in I.C.S. but health providers may not be as familiar with such protocols.
Captain Gaddie assures the public, Cal Fire is fully staffed and ready for whatever situation may arise.