KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Emergency crews are on the front lines and because of that, the CDC says they have an increased risk of exposure to coronavirus.
We spoke with the Knoxville Fire Department to see what firefighters are doing to protect themselves and patients.
“We’re in the business to take care of people,” said Captain DJ Corcoran with KFD.
“Whenever somebody calls 911 and it goes to our intake center, the dispatcher will take that and relay that information to the emergency workers and they’ll get as much information as they can which is if it’s a stabbing, a shooting, someone slamming their finger in the door or if it’s somebody showing flu-like symptoms and then we react appropriately,” said Captain Corcoran.
KFD crews are carrying a kit with disposable foot protection, gowns, eye protection, masks for patients, N95 masks for first responders, and face shields.
Captain Corcoran says first responders are also limiting contact with patients who are sick, “Whenever we have contact with a patient who has flu-like symptoms, we’re going to protect ourselves. We’re also going to put a mask on them to protect our workers so droplets aren’t sprayed on workers and they can answer another call.”
KFD continues sterilizing and disinfecting all patient care areas.
“We always wash our gear, keep it clean, sterilize it after each use. Most of the stuff we do use that comes in contact with the patient is disposable or goes with the patient,” explained Captain Corcoran.
While things may look a little different right now, Captain Corcoran says these barriers are to protect everyone, “We put out fires and take care of the sick and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”
The CDC continues stressing that the general public does not need to use face masks. Instead, they’re asking we follow everyday preventive measures like washing our hands, covering our coughs and staying home when we’re sick.
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