Though many businesses have unfortunately had to close their doors due to COVID-19, EMS (Emergency Medical Services) continue to work as they are essential to maintaining order and safety amongst the general populous. First responders including law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services, and emergency management officials, not only have to continue working as they always have been, but they must also assist persons confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19.
The Measures EMS Take When Assisting People with COVID-19
EMS will inevitably be working in close proximity with infected persons in uncontrolled and often tight environments like an ambulance. To prevent themselves from becoming sick, they follow safety guidelines and procedures.
Communication is always vital for EMS. However, with the particular case of COVID-19, communication is even more critical. Each PSAP (Public Safety Answering Points) and EMS system include medical directors to provide the correct oversight.
When a patient is suspected of having COVID-19, prehospital care providers and healthcare facilities are notified in advance so that appropriate action is taken to receive and treat them.
Modified Caller Queries
Similarly, with communication, PSAPs and EMD (Emergency Medical Dispatch) have modified their caller queriers to include questions that would help indicate if the person has signs, symptoms, or risk factors for COVID-19. Of course, these questions will only be asked appropriately and won’t supersede lifesaving instructions.
Personal Protective Equipment
Whenever dealing with a confirmed or suspected infected person, EMS are careful to wear all necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). For patients with COVID-19, EMS has been instructed to wear N-95 respirators- or facemasks if no respirators are available. EMS will also be outfitted with eye protection (such as goggles and disposable face shields), disposable gloves and gowns. After assisting a person with COVID-19, EMS has been trained to wash their hands and avoid touching their faces.
Emergency vehicles driven by EMS will be exposed to COVID-19 when they transport infected persons. During transportation, EMS has been notified to switch their vehicles to the non-recirculated mode and to turn on the rear exhaust fan to keep infectious particles to the back of the vehicle. Once the infected person has been safely delivered, EMS will carefully clean and disinfect the vehicle.
EMS Can Serve as a Role Model for Everyone
EMS are taking serious measures and actions to stay protected while on the front lines of COVID-19. Many of their practices, such as the washing of hands and not touching of one’s face, are practical, healthy habits that can be adopted by everyone.
About Provident Insurance Programs
With roots dating back to 1902, Provident Insurance Programs is a program administrator that serves paid and volunteer firefighters in addition to emergency medical responders with numerous custom-tailored insurance programs. We’ve also extended our expertise and experience to offer benefit plans and coverages to participant groups as well as Transportation Benefits. We are committed to continuing to provide superior customer service, and would be happy to speak with you to provide further information. Give us a call today at (855) 201-8880 to speak with one of our representatives.