ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - In an effort to keep the community safe, the Western Albemarle Rescue Squad is changing the way it responds to calls. Its staff sent out a letter informing the public of some of the new initiatives. The staff is starting to use extra precautions.
“We’re wearing protective equipment like masks and gowns on us, masks on patients and hand sanitizer. We are making sure everybody is protected,” Chief Kostas Ailbertas said.
The staff has also added plastic on the walls inside ambulances and plastic to separate the patient from the driver.
“Making sure that we decontaminate the trucks at the beginning of the shifts, after every call,” Ailbertas said.
For every call, the patient will be screened since the virus has made its way into the county and surrounding areas.
“Now we have to almost assume that everyone is a positive, we do try to because we want to protect and preserve our PPE, our protective equipment," Ailbertas said.
All Albemarle County fire stations have restricted visitation at this time.
“Being in Crozet a lot of the time folks would just bring their family member or someone that needed attention right to our station, and we're really encouraging them to call 911 so we can come to them," Ailbertas said.
Hospital restrictions have also been put in place, so members are required to not allow others to accompany someone who is hurt or sick.
“Even taking friends or family members to the hospital with us is one of the things we’re also not doing now," Ailbertas said.
Rather than calling the fire station, members have set up an email address if you have questions about the new operations and procedures click here.