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Video: Portland (OR) Firefighters Now Responding to Medical Calls in Hazmat Suits

To combat the need for disposable personal protective gear, many departments in the Portland, Oregon, area are turning to reusable hazmat suits and masks when responding to medical calls, as reported by NBC affiliate KGW8. Portland Fire & Rescue (PFR) is now training crews to wear them, and wants to prepare the public for PFR’s new look.

PFR crews are now responding in full face masks that include a filter for better protection than the N95 masks most emergency medical workers are calling for around the nation. When firefighters wear this gear will depend on the type of call, specifically, how close crews estimate they’ll get to patients. a PFR spokesman said that about three-quarters of the their calls are of the medical variety.

PFR crews will now sanitize the suits and plastic masks after each response and will not be wearing them all the time.