BALTIMORE (WJZ) — First responders across the region are gearing up with supplies to protect themselves amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Police departments in the city and counties are telling people to expect changes in emergency calls moving forward.

“I think we’re in very unknown times,” Russ Davies, Anne Arundel County Fire Department Captain, said. “It’s hard to tell where things go from here.”

Anne Arundel County Fire officials said they’re in constant contact with public health agencies. In addition to the usual glasses and gloves, they’ve added more preventative gear to medic packs. 

“We’re going to add an N95 mask, and we’re going to add a gown,” Davies said.
In Howard County, six firefighters who responded to their first COVID-19 case, have been quarantined after exposure.
Anne Arundel County Fire said they’ve been in touch with Howard and other agencies about best practices amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s not business as usual,” Davies said. “We’re trying to take everyone’s safety — both the public and the responders — into consideration when we go out onto these calls.”
Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said the goal during the course of the coronavirus pandemic is to be able to maintain continuity of service.
She also said her department has more officers staffed since school resource officers are now freed up.
“Depending on the circumstance, some of our officers may be utilizing some of their protective equipment,” Hyatt said.

The city is distributing supplies to officers, but at least one Baltimore County precinct is in need of sanitation supplies.

“Just like every other jurisdiction, there are certain things in high demand right now, and we’re doing some creative things to acquire some of that,” Hyatt said.

Plans are almost certain to change as first responders try to minimize their risks moving forward.
“Still, situations exist where, even with the best efforts, that potential exists,” Davies said.
For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Paul Gessler

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