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EMS workers come up with new ways to respond amid Coronavirus concerns

(WABI)
Published: May. 4, 2020 at 2:55 PM EDT
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EMS workers can be some of the first to come in contact with potential COVID-19 patients.

With personal protective equipment in short supply for many, they really have to think outside the box to keep first responders and patients safe.

"We really had to rethink how we responded to every call. We really had to go back to the drawing board and say, how can we do this better," said Robert Russell the CEO of North East Mobile Health.

North East Mobile Health has begun that process in a few different ways.

They've separated the cab and rear of their ambulances with a window which limits the spread of germs.

They have instituted new and more thorough cleaning and disinfecting policies with finer attention to detail.

And to help slow the spread of the virus and to preserve PPE, North East Ambulance is oftentimes only sending one paramedic when responding to a residential home.

But they say it has not affected their ability to properly treat patients.

"The other person will kind of hang back if they're not needed. And they will not don PPE, they will stay outside the home. If the care is needed, we will absolutely send more people in," said Russell.

They have an important message to those who might see them respond to your home or neighborhood.

"Don't get afraid when we show up, and we're wearing masks and gowns and gloves. On almost every response now that's the norm. It's to protect not only us, but it's also to protect the patient themselves," said Russell.

They also added they're looking into on site testing for COVID-19.

They hope to be able to begin doing so in the coming months.