While Virginians are staying home amid pandemic, first responders answering the call


CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — While many Virginians are staying home, first responders are risking their lives daily.

8News spoke with Chesterfield County Fire & EMS officials to learn how they’re adapting to the changes.

“We are definitely in uncharted and unprecedented territory here even in the public safety world,” said Jason Elmore, spokesperson for Chesterfield Fire & EMS.

For fire crews, working from home is not an option. Keeping locals safe from COVID-19 while responding to calls is a bit more difficult now, however.

“This is something that is kind of like the new normal for right now, and we’re just kind of getting used to it ourselves,” Elmore told 8News.

Amid coronavirus concerns, Elmore says they’re following all CDC and Virginia Department of Health (VDH) guidelines in addition to pre-screening any calls they get in order to keep their teams safe.

“We’re making sure we’re putting gowns on, we’re putting the n95 mask on to be able to keep our providers safe and to make sure that we’re not going to be potential carriers,” Elmore said.

Following news that a Richmond first responder — a police officer — tested positive for the coronavirus, Elmore said that’s why Chesterfield Fire & EMS continue to take precautions inside their station seriously.

“There may come a time that one of our folks is going to have to quarantine, be put in isolation because we’re at risk,” Elmore said. “We’re out there dealing with folks that are having this illness.”

Anyone with minor to severe symptoms of coronavirus should contact healthcare professionals first, Elmore urges. If someone has a life-threatening illness, however, call 911.


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