CARMEL — For those coming in contact with COVID-19 patients, possibly before people are even diagnosed, safety precautions are key.
As we all deal with daily changes with COVID-19, first responders with the Carmel Fire Department are doing everything they can to keep themselves and residents safe.
The new normal for firefighters and EMTs, such as Matt Derycker for CFD, includes putting on protective pants, a protective jacket, an N-95 mask, and glasses before every run.
"If they have COVID symptoms, then we're just sending two people in as opposed to what we usually did, which was six," Derycker said.
And when they return to the station, they spray down themselves and their equipment with disinfectant.
"We pretty much spray the entire inside of the bus, then we change the sheets, spray the cot down ... spray down all the electronics," Derycker said.
These are some of the many steps CPD is taking to keep their crews and residents safe.
"They did a really good job figuring out what we are going to need first and what we were gonna need for the long haul," Tim Griffin, CPD public information officer, said.
The department stocked up on PPE supplies like N-95 masks, gowns, paper masks, disinfectants, and hand sanitizer. They're also doing temperature checks any time someone enters the building.
"We're not just going on COVID patients; we're not just going on fires; we're going into the homes of people who are sickest," PIO Griffin said. "So if we can find out early and often if someone is positive, then we can keep them out of the equation and keep the citizens safer."
Fire officials are keeping an eye on trends with the virus to determine if any changes will need to be made to the protocols, but for now, this is the new normal for crews working in Carmel.