Firefighting, News

IL Fire Departments Make Changes to Protect Firefighters During Coronavirus Pandemic

Fire departments in Illinois have made some minor changes that may help increase firefighter safety when responding to the coronavirus pandemic, reports WCIA.com.

In times of crisis, firefighters are among the first to head towards the danger facing their communities. Paxton Fire Department Chief Denny Kingren told reporters that his firefighters’ health is at the forefront of his mind.

Smaller departments such as Paxton and medium-sized departments like Rantoul may not be seeing as many operational changes, but the coronavirus might have an even bigger impact because they say they really cannot afford to lose many of their volunteers, the report said.

The way first responders first make contact with calls has also changed, however in cases of a major emergency, such as a fire or a motor vehicle accident will see firefighters responding the way they always do.

Urbana Fire, a larger department, has locked down the fire stations, restricted all visitors, and asked all firefighters to come into work in their regular clothes and change when they get there. Otherwise, they are doing all the same things as civilians are: washing hands and canceling large business or training gatherings.

According to the Chicago Fire Department, off-duty firefighters can be tested at a separate facility. The Chicago Tribune reported that the new Illinois National Guard coronavirus testing site for first responders and health care workers reached capacity after only four hours on Monday.

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