DOUGLAS, Ariz. -- — Douglas Fire Department is taking steps to reduce chances of its members being exposed to COVID-19.
In a press release, the department says they have stopped allowing visitors inside the station. They are also limiting deliveries to outside the station.
Firefighters are also social distancing inside the station. The department acknowledges that maintaining that six feet of separation can't be done during an emergency situation, but during meals or administrative work, they will be social distancing. To further facilitate that, Douglas Fire has opened a temporary second station. They say that by splitting the crews to two locations, that makes social distancing even easier.
Phone protocol has also changed. When someone in Douglas calls 911 they will be asked if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. If they say yes, that information will be given to the responding EMS crew. This is so the crew can respond with the appropriate equipment. They will also communicate with the receiving emergency room if necessary, so the COVID-19 patient gets the treatment they need faster .
After responding to a COVID-19 call, the ambulance will be fully cleaned and personnel will go through a decontamination process.
"We are taking this serious," says Fire Chief Kevin Lomeli in the statement. “We want the public to know that we are doing everything we can to keep ourselves healthy and our equipment clean so we can help them."