MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — First responders don’t have the option to work from home. Police, firefighters, and paramedics are still taking just as many calls as they normally do, sometimes even more now that people are concerned about COVID-19.
Mobile Fire-Rescue paramedics are now wearing protective gowns, gloves, and face masks when they go on calls. They are also giving masks to patients who are being transported. Crews are fully sanitizing equipment and the ambulance after every call.
“We are humans as well and we are doing the best that we can to protect everyone, including ourselves, from cross-contamination or spreading this thing any faster than it’s already been spread,” said Steven Millhouse, Mobile Fire-Rescue’s Public Information Officer.
Mobile Fire-Rescue is asking anyone who calls 911 to let a dispatcher know if you have symptoms of COVID-19. They’re also asking people to avoid calling for transport if it isn’t really needed
“The rescue trucks we have need to be available for those life-threatening conditions. We still have to transport and treat major emergencies,” Millhouse said.
Mobile Police are also trying to protect officers patrolling the streets. They are encouraging people who need to report minor crimes to call the non-emergency Teleserve line and issue the report over the phone. This avoids the department having to send an officer out.
“It gives us the ability to limit our face-to-face contact, allows us to maintain that social distancing that we’ve all been talking about,” said Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste.
Chief Battiste is trying to ensure his department maintains the manpower needed to continue serving the city effectively.
“We want to make sure that we’re not placing a strain on any other agency that would be called in to assist us if we had a number of officers to go down because of their exposure,” said Chief Battiste.
The Mobile Police Department’s Teleserve number is 251-208-7211.
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