Archive for March 23rd, 2020

Fire service news – Coronavirus COVID-19

Excerpts from

When Hayward (CA) Fire Chief Garrett Contreras saw that San Jose had to quarantine many of its firefighters after they were exposed to coronavirus, he thought it could happen to his city too.

In response, he rallied community members and a private company to make sure Hayward is keeping track of its coronavirus outbreak. The city will open a testing facility geared towards first responders emergency workers and health-care workers. They will also test members of the public who are symptomatic. The fire chief is the brainchild of the effort, inspired by the ongoing difficulty of getting Hayward’s firefighters tested after possible exposure.

“Suppression through isolation after testing, or SIT, as we call it, is an approach that has proven to be most effective in countries on the leading edge of this pandemic,” Contreras said.

On March 15, he began sending out hundreds of emails and LinkedIn messages to city leaders and labs. He also became a student of the virus, observing how other countries, such as South Korea and Italy, varied in their response to the crisis. In days, he secured $500,000 from the City of Hayward and a partnership with Avellino Lab USA, Inc., based in Menlo Park — a company specializing in gene therapy, molecular diagnostics and medicine for eye care.

The center has enough test kits for up to 370 people a day, for about a month. The testing is free to the public and open to anyone, regardless of city, county, or immigration status. Those who wish to be tested will first need to go through a screening process before a test is administered. The test involves swabbing of the nasal cavities and the back of the throat. No referral from a medical doctor is required to be screened, and results will be available in as soon as six hours or the next day.

Contreras says his station is treating the effort as they would a natural disaster, with special strike teams that go out on suspected coronavirus calls. Firefighters at the testing station are on duty for seven days, just like they would during a wildfire, after which they’ll be tested before taking a break and resuming another assignment.

“I believe that expertise is being underutilized right now because people don’t make the connection of the fire service to an event like this,” he said. “It’s seen as a health care problem and this is a disaster on par with a 7.0 earthquake.”

Contreras also sees the testing site as an effort to decrease the pressure on hospital emergency rooms. “There is enough equipment out there,” he said. “My belief is it’s just not in the places it needs to [be] because it’s not organized the way that we would organize resources in the fire.”

The testing center will operate seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will be staffed by the Hayward Fire Department with both firefighters and paramedics. It will also be supported by emergency medical technicians.

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Fire service news – Coronavirus COVID-19

Excerpts from the NewHavenRegister:

The fire chief in North Branford was alarmed when he got the news that his department, which runs the town’s ambulance service, would only receive one box of 35 respirators from the strategic national stockpile. What’s more, all of those masks are expired.  Although the town currently has enough supplies on hand, he worries about what will happen if COVID-19 cases spike a few weeks down the road.

Two nearby East Haven firefighters and their families were quarantined for two weeks Friday after the firefighters assisted a 79-year-old man who became the town’s first confirmed case of COVID-19. The East Haven fire chief is worried that if too many members of his department get sidelined because of exposure, they won’t be able to fight fires. He was told that all of the 144,000 respirators in the state’s strategic stockpile are expired by at least 10 years, adding that his department was allotted 220 respirators. They were all expired, and they were all sized small.

What’s more, medical experts today expanded the possible symptoms associated with COVID-19 so as to include certain gastrointestinal issues. That means personal protective equipment may be necessary for more calls.

A memorandum from the strategic national stockpile coordinator for the Connecticut Department of Public Health indicates that in terms of personal protective equipment, many towns in the state are only receiving expired respirators at this time.

“The Department of Public Health (DPH) is in possession of expired N95 respirators manufactured in 2006 that were not granted a shelf-life extension by the federal government,” the memo says. “We requested that the federal government consider an extension given the national PPE shortage, which was not granted. These expired Kimberly Clarke N95 respirators will not provide the appropriate protection factor of non-expired N95s, but are likely to minimally provide protection equivalent to a surgical face mask.”

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New TRT squad for the York Center FPD

This from Tony Carlini:

Attached is a new order for the York Center Fire Protection District. It is a Marion Body Works 19’ custom van body with a Ford F-650 chassis  for their technical rescue team. Features include, lumber storage racks for trench rescue,  fin form storage racks, underbelly boxes, a pull-out awning, and additional above cab storage in the box area. This is using Marion Body Works’ Van Body and Custom engineered vehicle line to meet the needs and budget for special response vehicles. It will be delivered spring summer 2021.

Marion Body Works Ford F-650 special duty fire department squad

click to download

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New ambulance for Elgin FD

From the Fire Service, Inc. Facebook page:

Congratulations to Elgin Fire Department on the order of their 2020 Wheeled Coach Type 1 Ambulance!

We are eager to begin the process of building an emergency vehicle your community can depend on and is familiar with! Thank you for your continued loyalty!

Specs: Patented Cool Bar HVAC system, 4-point IMMI restraints, Stryker PowerLoad System, Whelen warning lights, Change Notice 11 Compliant, and 6 “ drop skirt design to help maximize storage and ease of entrance.

new ambulance for the Elgin FD

new ambulance for the Elgin FD

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