If the virus drives up demand for services, communities may also see a change in how calls are prioritized and, if workforce ranks are diminished, how fast responders arrive, say experts on emergency preparedness. That means dispatchers may be more selective about when to send an ambulance,, The growing number of COVID-19 cases highlights a new threat faced by the nation’s first responders — including emergency medical technicians, ambulance crews and some firefighters. Nelson: “It’s pretty common knowledge that there is a demand on that. We here at the borough are working to make sure our first responders and health care providers are taken care of on that, and we need to keep them safe.” Still, there is a worry among the rescuers on the front line. Nelson: “We are meeting and accessing all of those PPE, protective equipment needs, for our first responders and trying to project out what those needs are in the future.” Despite the uncertainty, Nelson says plans are underway. To help guide emergency personnel, dispatchers are ramping up their screening of callers to identify potential cases of the coronavirus. Hospital emergency management directors are reviewing how to conserve and repurpose in-demand supplies. And EMT and fire departments are taking inventory to make sure they have enough protective equipment for responders in the field. FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享First responders, often used to chaos, told KSRM News that that novel coronavirus has put them in uncharted waters. Incident Manager with the Borough Office of Emergency Management Dan Nelson said paramedics within the fire department try to screen patients over the phone, while rushing to help them, in hopes of knowing what protective gear to wear when they get there. Per the OEM, Dispatch and Fire/EMS: Crews are working to maintain operations; however, public are not be allowed to enter these facilities. First responders within the borough will continue guidance specific to call outs.