GEORGETOWN, Ky. (LEX 18) – Firefighters will oftentimes cut a hole in the roof of a burning home, or building. The practice forces the flames upwards, and out, allowing for containment to a certain area of the burning structure. You could argue that’s the theory being used in Georgetown as it relates to the spread of coronavirus, (COVID-19).
“EMS personnel would make entry first, to limit the (possible) exposure to everyone on the scene,” said Chief Mike Fuller from the Scott Count Fire Department.
The new protocol was put into place by both the fire and EMS agencies and it’ll apply only to calls dispatch receives from those experiencing respiratory issues.
“They’re asking individuals, when they call in, do they have a fever? Do they feel short of breath? Have they been around anyone that’s been laboratory tested for the COVID-19 virus that’s come back positive?” said Scott County EMS Director Brandon Remley.
If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then EMS will serve as the literal first responder, with the fire department offering assistance from a distance to avoid direct contact. All bets are off, however, if the fire department is the first, or only, agency to respond.
“We would take precautions and do as we always did,” Fuller said, while adding, “there’s no delay, or difference in our response.”
Remley also stressed that no one in a compromised state will be left to suffer. If the fire department(s) has to respond first, it will. This plan is more about doing anything within reason to help avoid the spread of a virus that currently is having no trouble spreading across the globe.
“We feel it is a wise decision,” Remley said. “We’re trying to limit the number of first responders who could potentially be exposed to the virus.”