As the Coronavirus scare continues to make its way through Missouri, local emergency responders are among the most central to the relief efforts. Mid-County Fire Protection District took little time to reorganize their operating procedures for the crisis and have released a new set of personal guidelines to navigate the pandemic.

As the Coronavirus scare continues to make its way through Missouri, local emergency responders are among the most central to the relief efforts. Mid-County Fire Protection District took little time to reorganize their operating procedures for the crisis and have released a new set of personal guidelines to navigate the pandemic.

Chief Scott Frandsen says that the district is doing everything they can to ready personnel for the difficult weeks ahead. Among the most critical of lessons to teach is the operating procedures for sick members of the community. He says the district has begun training involving use of breathing equipment, how to approach potential ill patients and learning to better keep distance in order to not spread the virus to other district members.

Effective immediately, Frandsen says they will be cancelling leave and vacation hours for district members in order to have all hands on deck through this time. To combat this, he says any member of the district that becomes ill will be placed on sick leave.

All members of the district will be required to have their temperature monitored at the start of each shift. Frandsen says they will start cleaning their entire stations on a much more frequent basis, including equipment, vehicles and public lobbies. Anyone with a high temperature will be sent home until they have become healthy and off of medication for at least 24 hours.

“We are trying to take any step recommended to us in order to help our ability to respond,” Frandsen said. “It’s not right to tell the employees that they need to take the brunt of all this. We want to help them as much as we can, while still being able to provide service.”

The district plans to receive a number of new safety equipment items from the state, though Frandsen says these have yet to be received. He says Mid-County was proactive in this event and had breath apparatuses and cleaning supplies ready ahead of time to combat the illness early. He explained that no one is certain of how long this illness will be an issue, but they will be taking any steps forward necessary.

General scene response procedure has also had to be adjusted. Crew members are asked to use a six foot radius away from other members at the station. Fire and vehicle accidents will still send the same number of first responders to each scene, though medical calls will now operate differently. On calls with two to three members, only one medical personnel will enter a building at a time. If able, they will request that the person required aid come outside the building to them, in order to keep medical teams out of contaminated buildings.

Frandsen says they understand that this event puts them in uncharted waters. He says they have been a part of constant webinars explaining new events each day and plans to keep the entire district updated as they go along.

“I truly believe our personnel understand their role in our community and know they will do all they can to get our citizens through this difficult time,” Frandsen said.