Public Service Announcement - 04/05/2020
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:
From all Communities in Barton County
(Great Bend, Hoisington, Ellinwood, Claflin)
SUBJECT: COVID-19 Protocols & Processes for First Responders & Health Care Providers
April 4, 2020 – Local First responders & Healthcare providers are dealing with COVID-19 precautions while protecting the community. As the private and public sector are being told to stay home, it not an option for our first responders and health care providers. Our communities are dependent on our each of these sectors, so it's incumbent upon them to stay healthy, to take care of themselves, and their families.
A protocol is in place to help firefighters and EMS determine if the medical calls coming in are suspect for COVID-19 symptoms. Responders may reach out to the caller to assess the individual PRIOR to arrival. One paramedic or EMT will conduct a face to face personal assessment to determine the needs or risks of such individual. Other EMS, Fire and Law Enforcement Officers will remain outside or a minimum distance of 6 feet from the patient. Once an appropriate assessment has been done they will determine if the individual needs to go to the hospital or advise them to contact their primary care physician.
Do not be alarmed because responders will likely be fully protected with eye wear, masks, gloves, and possibly gowns. The attached flyer shows the Personal Protective Equipment the First Responders may be wearing. We want the public to be aware of the equipment we are wearing does not mean that the Patient has COVID 19. It does mean that we are protecting ourselves so we can provide service to you.
Fire/EMS Chief Luke McCormick stated, “Threats aren't something new to us. These threats are something we deal with or we are concerned about daily. Together as a county we are urging all our First Responders and Health Care Providers to follow CDC and KDHE guidelines like hygiene and protecting themselves from getting sick.”
All emergency response teams are keeping the stations, equipment and ambulances clean and disinfecting regularly. All employees are instructed if they are sick to just stay home. Barton County Health Department is asking all citizens to contact their primary health care provider if you feel you are experiencing coronavirus symptoms. Please also let dispatchers know their symptoms if they call 911.
It’s imperative that all citizens know that Responders are taking heightened precautions in our healthcare responses at this time. Inform dispatch and responders if you suspect COVID-19 symptoms, so we can keep our community safe.