Emergency responders take steps to protect themselves from the virus

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Emergency responders are using as many precautions as they can to stay safe from the coronavirus while still protecting the rest of us.

Frankfort Fire and EMS says its taking necessary precautions.

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In February, dispatch started asking callers more questions including do they have a fever, have they been outside the United States, or in contact with someone who has the virus.

“We’re pre-screening calls to try to flag and identify people with fever, respiratory distress, or other signs and symptoms,” said Wayne Briscoe, Fire Chief.

Fire Chief, Wayne Briscoe says if dispatch decides there’s a threat, responders will put on personal protective equipment. The equipment includes a gown, mask, face shield, and gloves.

“It’s going to make us look scary but I promise it’s just to keep us safe and not to spread it anybody else,” said Michael Bosley, Firefighter.

Briscoe says if possible, only one person will work closely with the patient.

“We’re probably going to the extreme but we need to maintain a healthy workforce,” said Briscoe.

Briscoe says the protective gear is only used once and then is properly thrown away at the hospital.

So far, he says there have only been about five calls responders have used the gear for.

Right now, he believes they’re fully stocked. If there’s a rapid increase in calls there could potentially be a shortage.

The chief isn’t sure how long they’ll have to wear the gear. He says they’ll continue to do it as long as they need to keep people safe.