In uncertain times, EMTs adapted and weathered the pandemic


Emergency response shifted to account for fears that first responders handling calls could spread the virus to patients, colleagues, hospital staff and loved ones, as well as concerns that too much PPE use could cause shortages.

Fire chiefs, assistants and other commanders usually the first or second responders to arrive at emergency scenes often took the lead in understanding the nature of an incident.

“As I pull up to the scene, I’m not getting out and going right into the house,” Hanford said. “I’m getting out of my truck and I’m getting on the additional PPE. I might be 30 seconds to a minute longer, and someone might be standing at the front door like, ‘What is he doing out there?’ ”

EMTs and firefighters normally wear jumpsuits while on duty. They have washtubs, washing machines and special bio-soaps to use at their fire stations after returning from calls.

N95 masks, face shields, gloves, Tyvek boot covers and vinyl gowns have been required during most of the pandemic, too.

“Before we even open up the front door,” Hanford said, “we’re asking, ‘Are there any Covid issues in the house, anything we need to be aware of?’ Remember, people typically are not wearing masks inside their homes.”

Police officers were often in similar straights, with less protective gear.



Read More:In uncertain times, EMTs adapted and weathered the pandemic

In uncertain times, EMTs adapted and weathered the pandemic


Emergency response shifted to account for fears that first responders handling calls could spread the virus to patients, colleagues, hospital staff and loved ones, as well as concerns that too much PPE use could cause shortages.

Fire chiefs, assistants and other commanders usually the first or second responders to arrive at emergency scenes often took the lead in understanding the nature of an incident.

“As I pull up to the scene, I’m not getting out and going right into the house,” Hanford said. “I’m getting out of my truck and I’m getting on the additional PPE. I might be 30 seconds to a minute longer, and someone might be standing at the front door like, ‘What is he doing out there?’ ”

EMTs and firefighters normally wear jumpsuits while on duty. They have washtubs, washing machines and special bio-soaps to use at their fire stations after returning from calls.

N95 masks, face shields, gloves, Tyvek boot covers and vinyl gowns have been required during most of the pandemic, too.

“Before we even open up the front door,” Hanford said, “we’re asking, ‘Are there any Covid issues in the house, anything we need to be aware of?’ Remember, people typically are not wearing masks inside their homes.”

Police officers were often in similar straights, with less protective gear.



Read More:In uncertain times, EMTs adapted and weathered the pandemic