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Keeping First Responders Healthy During Outbreak

Posted at 3:59 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 20:10:44-04

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa health officials are continuing to urge social distancing and taking precautions when coming into contact with others, including first responders.

If you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms, it's better to call your doctor than 9-1-1. But if you need emergency services and are feeling sick, let dispatchers know that while you're on the phone.

Tulsa fire, police, and EMSA are taking extra precautions to keep their first responders healthy, including issuing special kits to use on calls to sick people.

When you call 9-1-1, dispatchers will ask you a series of questions, like if you have a cough, fever, or any flu-like symptoms. If you do, you will still get service, but first responders will know to bring along those kits.

"While we can’t control the unknowns at our job, there are things we can control, and limiting exposure is one of those that we can attempt to do our best, and it will take the public to help us do that,” said Andy Little, Tulsa Fire Public Information Officer.

Three Tulsa city employees are being monitored for potential exposure, including a police officer and a firefighter. The firefighter was given a test, and the potential exposure is considered very low, Little says.

“There are firefighters on the job that have children with limited immune systems or elderly parents that live with them. So of course they’re concerned and don’t want to bring those home and negatively impact their loved ones,” Little said.

If the call is to your home, first responders ask you to come to the front door if you can, so they will avoid picking up any germs that may be inside.

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