By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

McMinnville fire emphasizes safety with its personnel

The McMinnville Fire Department is on high alert and keeping its emergency medical services personnel well informed of coronavirus cases in Oregon.

“We’re just working to keep our folks informed as information comes out,” Assistant Chief Debbie McDermott said. “There are masks they can use. They’re well aware of the symptoms.”

The agency counts about three dozen staffers, and each is trained as an EMT or paramedic/firefighter, according to McDermott. Everyone assigned to a daily shift is cross-trained.

“If we’re responding somewhere and someone has the symptoms, we might limit the amount of responders to only those necessary on an initial crew,” she said.

Additional personnel might be requested once a situation is evaluated, McDermott said.

“This is not going to change our response to people,” she said. “We’ll continue to go out on calls, give great patient care and make sure people are taken care of. But it’s here and our people need to take the same precautions as everyone else.”

McDermott said the department has not had any calls in which a patient believes they have been exposed to the virus.


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