Fire department: In response to coronavirus outbreak

PASCO, WA - As the coronavirus pandemic grips the globe, the Pasco Fire Department would like to communicate to the public several changes for the foreseeable future.

Keeping clean between patients is always a top priority for fire departments. This has not change for Pasco Fire.

"But just making that expert caution, that we don't take something from one patient to another or take something from a patient back to the station where we are living all the time," Pasco Fire Public Information Officer, Ben Shearer said.

Since Pasco Fire needs to be able to protect themselves and others, the department wants people to know things might look a little different.

"But really for us, it is just a lot of service like normal," Shearer said. "We are always out here to protect the public and help them through their emergencies."

Shearer said you might see a firefighter or law enforcement taking extra precaution. Some of that extra precautions includes wearing gowns, gloves and googles. He said firefighters might also wear personal protection equipment. He said there is still an unknown time on how long the virus can live on surfaces.

"But we do know it is a lot longer time-frame than most viruses," Shearer said.

He said corona has been around for a while, but the strain is what's new.

"And that is why it has taken people by surprise," Shearer said.

So washing your hands, keeping hand sanitizer and practicing social distancing is key.

"This isn't anĀ airborne thing, this is a droplet thing from coughs or sneezes or touching your face and touching a surface someone might touch later," Shearer said.

Shearer said keeping yourself clean will be the most protection for all of us. He wants to remind people that EMS agencies have not closed down.

"Bare with us, we are all going to get through this and we will be back serving our community, just like we are always proud to do," Shearer said.

Shearer said the Pasco Fire's smoke alarm servicing program, including educational and safety classes, are also on hold. He said it would be difficult to conduct those courses while practicing "social distancing."

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