Manlius Fire Department ready if novel coronavirus hits Central New York


MANLIUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Hospitals, political leaders, and first responders throughout Central New York are preparing for the potential of the novel coronavirus hitting our area.

Among them are the Manlius Police and Fire Departments.

The EMTs at the Manlius Fire Department already have a procedure to follow when they go out on calls. It’s a plan that’s been in place for years for any type of infectious disease.

There’s a kit in the ambulance with a mask for EMTs, the patient, and a bodysuit for EMS personnel to wear as an added precaution.

They only use the gear if the patient has recently traveled out of the country and is having flu-like symptoms, but a key part of the plan is about the communication among first responders — and it starts with that initial 911 call.

“When those call takers take that phone call, they’ve added that list of questions to their protocol also,” said Lieutenant Chris Halliday with the Manlius Fire Department. “So if they do ask that question [have you been out of the country in the past 14 days] we usually get the information right from dispatch, they’ve advised they’ve traveled out of the country, but we haven’t run into yet, fortunately.”

Hopefully, they won’t run into this type of call. But if they do, they’ll be ready.

“The biggest thing for us is we don’t have any restrictions as to what hospital they can go into, they will all accept patients who have suspected coronavirus,” said Halliday.

Halliday says the department will continue looking into the New York State Health Department’s regular updates and stay vigilant. Something he encourages others to do, without panicking.

The biggest thing people gotta remember is that if they just go through universal precautions, washing their hands, being careful about close contact, that it’s really not too big of a deal. Now if you’re health is compromised, you already have respiratory problems, it becomes a little bit bigger of a deal and you gotta be careful about where you put yourself out in public.

Lieutenant Chris Halliday with the Manlius Fire Department

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