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Monroe County EMS prepared for COVID-19 response

First responders are staying clean to protect themselves, and those they serve from the virus.

MONROE COUNTY, Ga. — People are staying home to avoid COVID-19, but first responders are still working to make sure their community is safe during this pandemic. 

Captain Shane Cook with Monroe County Emergency Services says, "We've taken patients that have had suspected symptoms of COVID, and I believe one of the cases, our EMS crew came into contact with a patient who tested positive for COVID."

While they care for the community, Monroe County Emergency Services wants to help prevent the spread of the virus. 

Cook says, "In addition to protecting ourselves and protecting our families, it also protects us in between patients."

He says after crews are finished with a call, they return to headquarters to spray and wipe down trucks. 

Then, first responders disinfect everything they are wearing, like jewelry, wallets, and belts.  

"One of the biggest things we want to make sure we do is not bring this home to our families if we are exposed. We want to make sure that everything we bring home to our family is clean and that we don't cross-contaminate, and bring anything home and expose our family members to this."

Cook says first responders shower and decontaminate clothing after their equipment is clean. 

"They're given fresh clothes to put on, their dirty clothes are then taken to a laundry facility in our headquarters station where a special soap is used to clean their clothes."

It's all in an effort to limit the spread while still providing vital services. 

"We need to still provide emergency service effectively," says Cook.

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