Opinion: Commentary: Fairfax County Fire Chief Addresses Coronavirus Concerns

Opinion: Commentary: Fairfax County Fire Chief Addresses Coronavirus Concerns

From Fire Chief John S. Butler:

Fairfax County’s firefighters and paramedics continue to fully staff all fire stations and apparatus and are responding to every call and doing everything they can to ensure you and our personnel stay safe and healthy, according to Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department,

Normal work continues — even though it might look a little different. The county’s fire stations are closed to the public, and while we miss interacting with residents at our fire stations, this is a necessary step to ensure our personnel stay healthy and able to serve the residents of Fairfax County.

In this video, Fire Chief John S. Butler addresses the coronavirus situation and how the county’s fire and rescue personnel are addressing it — and what you can do to help. https://youtu.be/OlcVIEU4ff8

“We may look a little different as we respond to certain 9-1-1 calls. Firefighters and paramedics are wearing an increased level of personal protective equipment (PPE) as we care for potential COVID-19 patients. This includes gowns, masks, eye protection, gloves and face shields. Do not be alarmed. This added protection ensures that members of your county fire and rescue department are able to continue providing emergency medical care to those in need.

If you have cold or flu-like symptoms, call your healthcare provider. Please do not visit the emergency room, fire station or call 9-1-1 unless it is an emergency, for example, you are having difficulty breathing.

If you do need to call 9-1-1, the dispatcher and our responding paramedics will ask you a series of questions about your symptoms and medical history. It is important that you answer these questions accurately and completely, with as many details as possible, as it allows us to provide you with the care you need and to take the necessary precautions to protect our personnel.

We treat all who need our help regardless of symptoms or medical conditions. We ask that you answer our questions to the best of your ability so that we can keep our providers healthy and able to serve our community.

Be assured that we are preparing now so that we can provide consistency in our operations and service delivery should we begin to see increased calls for service. We hope we won’t have to use these contingency plans but they are ready to go if needed.

So, keep washing your hands, don’t touch your face and keep on social distancing yourself.

You are not alone. Let’s do this together.”