Humboldt Bay Fire adjusts to serving the public

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EUREKA, Ca. (KIEM)-Firefighters are essential workers expected to keep serving the public when an emergency call comes through but what are they are doing differently during the Covid-19 crisis. 

Amy Conlin is the Humboldt Bay Fire Community Risk Reduction Specialist.

“While everyone is sheltering in place the hard-working men and women of Humboldt Bay Fire continue to work day and night keep our community safe,” she said.

Humboldt Bay Fire is responding to emergency calls even those related to Covid-19 symptoms.

However, they’ve taken precautions to keep themselves and others safe.

“For example, our stations are closed to the public and we’ve canceled some non-emergency services,” Conlin said.  

Services such as their first-aid and CPR classes are no longer offered at this time.

“We are also practicing social distancing and an increase in sanitation efforts at our stations as well,” she said.

All calls are triaged by dispatch to give first responders a quick overview of symptoms the person has before arriving on scene.

If the person exhibits Covid-19 symptoms then the crew will take use protective gear.

“We take out personal protective equipment and kick it up a notch,” Conlin said. “So in addition to gloves and eye wear, N-95 mask and a Tyveks gown.”

Having the patient meet the firefighter outside, if they are able to, is recommended.

“We’ll also have one firefighter interact with the patient initially unless more help is needed, to help limit the exposure,” she said.

Since the Coronavirus outbreak, there has been an uptick in 9-1-1 calls, which is expected.

“But we also want to remind the public that 911 should be used for emergencies only,” Conlin said.

For those who have mild symptoms such as a sore throat or a cough Conlin says they encourage those people call their healthcare provider and leave 911 for emergencies only.  

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind residents that 9-1-1 is not a Covid-19 hotline.

For those with questions or concerns can call 441-5000 or email at covidinfo@co.humbolt.ca.us