First responders in Escambia County take extra precautions during COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — First responders, like medical professionals, are on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.

Across Escambia County, first responders are taking extra precautions to help prevent themselves from getting COVID-19 when responding to calls for help.

In Pensacola, police officers are now sporting new, black protective masks that help protect them from the virus henceforth, keeping the officers safe on the job.

Pensacola Police public information officer Mike Wood said Police Chief Tommi Lyter has made the mask mandatory to wear.

“Well the CDC came down with a recommendation that people who interact with the public on a regular basis need to wear the mask,” Wood said. “Chief Lyter saw that recommendation and immediately put the plan into place.” 

Wood said police are also avoiding going into police headquarters as much as they can to practice social distancing.

“The officers hit the streets straight from their house,” Wood said. “They look at their mobile computer terminals to get the information they need, and they go straight to the street.” 

County first responders are also taking more precautions to keep themselves safe from COVID-19.

EMS crews are wearing N-95 masks, face shields, gloves, gowns and other personal protective equipment to keep themselves safe.

“As a first responder, you always want to make sure you’re safe first because if your sick or injured, trying to go to someone else, you’re not really mitigating the situation,” said EMS manager Jimmy Maddrey.

Maddrey said first responders correspond with dispatch about what kind of patient they’re responding to.

He said it’s important the public is open and honest about their condition with 911 dispatchers so everyone can remain safe.

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