Firefighters don’t just fight fires, many are also paramedics, EMTs, and registered nurses.
Now, they’re also COVID first responders.
Firefighters are used to quickly evolving situations. That’s why they were able to jump into action once the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“We hope for the best, but prepare for the worst," said Jaime Lopez. Chief of EMS Training Jaime Lopez has overseen the implementation of the newly COVID-dedicated call center.
He says the Laredo Fire Department receives around 30 calls a day in a 24 hour shift. That’s down by about half since the pandemic began back in March.
A team of nurses also evaluates potential COVID patients over the phone just as any emergency room would.
“They find out their COVID symptoms, if they have any family members that are COVID positive, how long they’ve been COVID positive, what their signs and symptoms are.”