With devastating speed, coronavirus spread through a California fire station; these firefighters battled back

  • Source: Los Angeles Times - Metered Site
  • Published: 05/07/2020 12:00 AM

On a cold Sunday night in March, Long Beach firefighter and paramedic James Dolas began to feel the first tingle of illness. The next day, as the 34-year-old came down with a fever, sore throat and muscle pain, his supervisor delivered the bad news: He feared that Dolas and other firefighters at Station 11 had been exposed to the novel coronavirus. One day later, Dolas and eight other firefighters were confirmed as positive for COVID-19. Soon, that number doubled to 16. Dolas self-isolated in a guestroom at home. He barricaded the door, which didn’t lock, with a chair to keep his 3-year-old daughter at bay. But he wondered whether he had already passed the virus on to her, as well as his 1-year-old daughter and his wife. For the Long Beach Fire Department, the outbreak spurred a race to contain the spread of the virus — and led to changes likely to remain mainstays of how their first responders handle emergency calls related to the coronavirus.


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