PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- The Phoenix Fire Department is taking extra precautions as we move through the COVID-19 pandemic, since there's a very good chance firefighters and paramedics could come into contact with someone who has symptoms.
Phoenix Fire Captain Kenny Overton spoke to Arizona's Family about it today. "We're handling it through preparation, handling it through looking at the facts in front of us, making the proper calls based on strategic decision making."
If firefighters get called to a COVID-19 case, Overton says crews will wear an N-95 mask, protective sleeves, along with gloves and eye protection. Those items will act as the first line of defense to make sure they stay safe from contracting the virus while potentially being in such close contact.
"All of these things, in coordination with our training that we have, are going to give us the best level of protection against this virus and enable us to render services to our citizens," said Overton.
The Phoenix Fire Department is also training its 911 dispatchers to ask additional questions if necessary, to determine if a person calling for help may have COVID19 symptoms. Overton added that if you think you have the virus, you should notify 911 of that when calling for help.
"Backed with this information, our crews have a better chance of preparing to go into the call with the right equipment so they can handle the emergency and be healthy and come back to the station and handle the next one."
The Phoenix Fire Department says that on two occasions already, people feeling sick have showed up to a fire station, asking for help. The department is urging people to call 911 or their healthcare provider first. That way, crews can be prepared to treat them.