FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2020
Fire Department Modifies Medical Response
Chief’s plan designed to protect firefighters and citizens
Alexandria, La. (March 20, 2020) — Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Alexandria Fire Department is taking steps to limit the exposure of their firefighters on certain medical calls.
“Alexandria firefighters live in firehouses and close quarters with each other for 24 hours at a time. If there is even one positive test within a station, this places a fire station at risk for a complete quarantine,” said Alexandria Fire Chief Larry King. “This could shut down a station response for any call in the jurisdiction that they respond.”
Until further notice, the department will no longer send medical personnel in response to general sick and unknown medical calls. The Alexandria Fire Department will continue to respond to all life-threatening illnesses or injuries.
Additionally, the department is taking measures for their personnel’s safety and well-being, by testing each firefighter for any symptom as they start a shift and end a shift. No one is allowed to work if they show any signs of illness.
“The Alexandria Fire Department has a duty to protect the citizens for emergencies and the goal is to make sure the department can continue to respond with a normal, healthy, full emergency team,” King said. “This also protects the citizens on our emergency calls from us. Until this situation is over, we feel this is the best chance we have for continued uninterrupted service.”
Chief King noted anyone with the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, tiredness and difficulty breathing) flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, muscle aches, cough and congestion, runny nose, headaches and fatigue) or any other general sickness should contact their family doctor.
For emergencies call 911.
For information and updates on COVID-19, go to https://www.cityofalexandriala.com/covid-19-response or call 211. To reach the city administration with questions or concerns call 318-449-5000.