First responders on the front lines in the fight against the novel coronavirus have an important message to 911 callers. If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or think you have it, tell them.
Sources told NBC10 that more than a dozen firefighters and EMS workers in Delaware responded to emergencies without being informed by the people they were helping that they had the novel coronavirus. The responders never had a chance to put on higher level protective gear as a result. They were later placed in quarantine as a precaution.
Now first responders are urging anyone who has symptoms or a family member who tested positive to be honest with everyone around them, including the 911 dispatcher when reporting an emergency.
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In Delaware, several paramedics and firefighters volunteer for different fire companies, meaning there could be a major strain on their ability to serve their communities if they get sick or have to go into quarantine.
“They could have six, seven, eight or nine people at once,” David Majewski Sr., of the New Castle County Fire Chiefs Association, told NBC10. “We get that too many times and we will have a real problem providing emergency services.”
New Castle County leaders assured that residents will receive top-rate service from first responders whether they have COVID-19 or not. Delaware Governor John Carney announced the county received a shipment of protective gear from the national stockpile but they’re going to conserve it where they can. However, if you call 911 and tell them that you have or might have the novel coronavirus, they’ll tell first responders to use the extra gear they need. They’re also reminding people that it’s not just about them but about everyone.
“It affects not only our first responders but our ability to keep on doing business ant taking care of the people who need taking care of,” Majewski Sr. said.