Coronavirus Safety: First Responders

Written by on March 2, 2020

Coronavirus Safety: First Responders

BY Brittany Sweeney

March 2, 2020

Photo | Brittany Sweeney / WLVR

There are no cases of coronavirus in Pennsylvania. But officials across the Lehigh Valley are getting ready as cases pop up in a handful of other states. 

WLVR Health Reporter Brittany Sweeney reports on how some local first responders would respond to an outbreak here.

The Cetronia Ambulance Corps in South Whitehall Township is taking extra safety measures to make sure they’re prepared for COVID-19.

Supervisor Michael LaPearl says procedures for dealing with a potential coronavirus outbreak are similar to other infectious diseases. But, he adds, 9-1-1 operators are asking extra questions before first responders arrive on the scene.

“When they take the calls they’re screening by asking certain questions. And if they tell us that there’s a suspect patient will make sure that we’re geared up appropriately to respond to the call,’ says LaPearl.

LaPearl says if a patient exhibits coronavirus symptoms, first responders will don extra protective gear, including C-D-C recommended N-95 face masks and gloves.

And should an emergency break out, the ambulance company has strike teams specially trained for high risk situations – that can respond both here in the Lehigh Valley and across the state.

Watch Brittany’s full PBS39 News Tonight Report.

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