Princeton firefighters discuss protocols as they come in contact with more COVID-19 patients

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PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — City of Princeton firefighters do not just battle flames. Captain Matthew Mould told 59 News EMS medical calls make up more than 75-percent of their call volume; some of which put them in contact with people who have COVID-19, or later test positive.

“We’ve had a call where the staff that we were in contact with notified us before we made contact with a patient,” Capt. Mould added. “Another time we were dispatched to a call that was completely unrelated to the virus, but we later found out from the hospital that they tested positive.”

To prevent the risk of contracting the virus themselves, and to be cleared to continue working, Mould said there are certain protocols in place.

“Any call that we’re on, no matter the type of call, it’s in our policy to wear an N-95 mask and eye protection,” Capt. Mould said. “As far as being out in the public, we’re encouraged to wear any kind of face covering to protect other people from us.”

911 operators are responsible for screening callers so they can let EMS crews know if they are potentially coming in contact with someone who has any symptoms.

Mould said they are all working vigilantly to adjust with the times, and to those working on the front lines, the pandemic is treated like just another task they are asked to handle.

“We always know that we face some type of risk, and we’re prepared to handle that risk,” Capt. Mould said.

If a firefighter begins to feel sick, they are required to isolate themselves for two weeks.

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