First responders on front line of the pandemic protecting themselves from COVID-19

Local News

MORAINE, Ohio (WDTN) – First responders are on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic saving lives, while also putting themselves at risk.

“We don’t want to catch it, we don’t want to spread it, we don’t want to take it home with us,” said Doug Hatcher, Fire Marshal with the Moraine Fire Division.

Hatcher says the Moraine Fire Department has made some changes in protocol when they respond to emergency calls.

“It all starts with our dispatcher. They are asking the appropriate questions and symptoms of the coronavirus and if [the patient] answers in the affirmative, then that triggers us to the next thing,” explained Hatcher.

“When we do confirm that it is a coronavirus patient then we have PPE that we put on [including] the gown and a face shield. We make sure that our crews are protected from the patient,” said Hatcher.

According to Hatcher, the department has so far only responded to 1 positive COVID-19 patientm but they are continuing to take precautions when they go to work.

“All medic calls now we are triaging at the door when possible and we are only sending in essential personnel that are going to the house.

Hatcher does note that since stay-at-home orders have been in effect, the number of emergency calls has decreased.

“Right now our calls are down a little bit. Folks are staying home and listening to what the governor and officials are saying for us to do and that’s a good thing,” said Hatcher.

Hatcher is now reminding people to listen to experts in order to keep themselves and others like the firefighters he works with safe.

“Pay attention and do what they say, don’t think that you’re immune to [the virus] because anybody can get this,” said Hatcher.

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