HOBART, Ind. (CBS) — Before patients make it to an emergency room they may have contact with a first responder. So how are they preparing?
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov went to Hobart, Indiana for this Original Report.
How to put on personal safety gear is now mandatory training for Hobart’s first responders.
The reason is the Ebola threat and what these paramedics should know and do to protect themselves if treating someone with symptoms.
“We gotta keep the guys prepped,” said Bob Scott, the department’s emergency management director. “They gotta know what they are walking into.”
A classroom session focused on Ebola screening, and personal protection with the equipment they have now. During the meeting, Scott said that new protective suits were ordered to cover every bit of skin.
“I would like to have the full suit. It’s better safe than sorry,” Hobart firefighter Isa Esquivel.
Hobart’s ambulances are now stocked with extra gear. The meeting also stressed the importance of screening flu-like patients for out-of-country travel. But these firefighters refuse to work in fear.
“I can’t see gearing up for every flu-like symptom patient,” Mike Haney.
He says that that would mean they would gear up hundreds of times a year.
Can this smaller department afford the extra gear? Bob Scott says it’s a financial drain but he has to keep his responders safe.