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National Fire News

Virginia Fire-EMS to use Frogg Togg coats in place of disposable medical gowns

With a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), Roanoke Fire-EMS has come up with creative ways to provide the same protection to their personnel with reusable materials. They say this including the use of new Frogg Togg coats in place of disposable medical gowns. This new personal protective equipment uses a specific material that is impervious to bloodborne pathogens and other bodily fluids, giving their crew the same protection of a disposable medical gown, according to the department, They say the coat is easy to decontaminate, gives their providers a better range of motion and is reusable, alleviating our need for disposable medical gowns.
- PUB DATE: 4/21/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WSET-TV ABC 13 Lynchburg

How drones are being used to combat COVID-19

The COVID-19, a global pandemic that caused more than 164,000 deaths and infected more than 2 million people worldwide, make us rethink how governments, organizations, and societies around the world can work with minimum or without physical contact. Today, the frontline warriors and heroes of the nation are doctors, medical staff, local police, and private security guards and refuse collectors.
- PUB DATE: 4/21/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Geospatial World

COVID-19 realities forcing fire chiefs in the western U.S. to propose significant budget cuts

Fire chiefs through the western United States are being asked to propose budget cuts between 10% and 25% for their departments—often including EMS service—as local governments try to fund operations in the face of dramatic tax-revenue declines caused by stay-at-home measures designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
- PUB DATE: 4/20/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: IWCE’s Urgent Communications

West Virginia University using smart rings, apps and algorithms to identify COVID-19 infections before symptoms occur

For three years the West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Center has equipped 30,000 people with smart rings and smartphone apps to determine, before any signs of illness, whether they had influenza. So it required only some computer algorithm adjustments to launch a pilot project in March to monitor 200 front-line healthcare professionals for COVID-19 and determine the presence of infection and potential for contagion 24 hours before flu symptoms emerge.
- PUB DATE: 4/20/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Paramedics, EMTs in Maine brainstorm, sew their own PPE, using shower curtains and socks

Paramedic Amy Dyer Drinkwater watched COVID-19 on the approach well before it gained a foothold in Maine. As the director of three ambulance services – St. George, Thomaston and South Thomaston – she had the safety of the community and staff to consider, and this particular risk was novel, not only in its pathology and virology, but in the way it skulked around, undetected.
- PUB DATE: 4/20/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Penobscot Bay Pilot

After the deaths of 13 EMS workers, coronavirus is forcing some New Jersey squads to drop service

One by one, 85 ambulances and firetrucks trickled down the narrow street in a somber procession, snaking their way through the Port Monmouth section of Middletown. As the first responders rolled past the forest green house, they each blared their sirens to honor one of their own. Robert Weber, a Middletown First Aid and Rescue Squad volunteer and firefighter, was only 44 when he died April 15 from complications of the coronavirus.
- PUB DATE: 4/20/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NJ.com

The Best COVID-19 Tracking Apps and Websites

Many new apps claim to be aimed at helping combat the coronavirus. Some provide vital notifications and advice, but others are full of misinformation and scams. That’s why we recommend the following, trustworthy sources. Always investigate the authenticity and authority of any app or website that claims to provide COVID-19 information.
- PUB DATE: 4/20/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: How-To Geek

EMS crews get tents to protect from COVID-19 in North Carolina counties

VIDEO: The Pasquotank-Camden EMS is taking action to try and better protect its patients and first responders. Previously, it was wrapping one of its ambulances with plastic. Chief Jerry Newell said that unit was designated to pick up possible COVID-19 patients. But then Newell said the department got an idea from Onslow County EMS in North Carolina.
- PUB DATE: 4/17/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WTKR-TV CBS 3 Norfolk

Disposable N95 Masks Can Be Decontaminated, Researchers Confirm

Researchers have confirmed that there are several effective methods for decontaminating the N95 masks worn by health professionals so that they can be used more than once, the National Institutes of Health announced Wednesday. A substantial body of research already showed that the masks, designed for one-time use, can be reused in a crisis.
- PUB DATE: 4/17/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The New York Times - Metered Site

iHeartMedia Announces 'iHeartRadio’s First Responder Fridays with FirstNet, Built with AT&T'

iHeartMedia and FirstNet®, Built with AT&T announced today “iHeartRadio’s First Responder Fridays with FirstNet, Built with AT&T,” a special four-week tribute series hosted by Ryan Seacrest streamed LIVE on iHeartRadio’s YouTube and broadcasted across more than 90 iHeartRadio stations nationwide, honoring first responders and medical professionals on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- PUB DATE: 4/17/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Business Wire

Utah passes bill to provide workers’ comp to first responders who contract COVID-19

The Utah House of Representatives and Senate both passed a bill during a special legislative session on Thursday that would amend the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act to include coverage for volunteer first responders and health care providers who contract COVID-19. Under House Bill 3007, sponsored by House Majority Leader Francis Gibson, R-Mapleton, it would be presumed that “a first responder who claims to have contracted COVID-19 during the performance of the first responder’s duties as a first responder” is eligible for a workers’ compensation claim.
- PUB DATE: 4/17/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Daily Herald

Ohio hospital chaplain launches text line to thank frontline workers

“People used to say, take it one day at a time. Right now, one day is a little long for most of us. One hour is probably a little long. Which is why I say it’s one breath at a time.” Rebecca Riley Moyer launched the BRAVE text line to send encouraging notes, written by her, straight to your phone every morning.
- PUB DATE: 4/17/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WXIX-TV FOX 19 Cincinnati

New York officials team up to make masks by repurposing SCBAs

Richard Congdon is a Herkimer County Sheriff's Deputy and a volunteer firefighter for the Salisbury Fire Department. He came up with the idea to re-purpose self-contained breathing apparatuses, or SCBAs, to make masks that can protect against the coronavirus. Congdon says firefighters change their SCBAs every year, so he thought it was a good idea to re-use them to help front line workers.
- PUB DATE: 4/16/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WKTV NBC/CBS/CW+ 2 Utica

IAFC Develops PPE Assessment Survey to Help Responders

The $2.2 trillion CARES Act is doing far too little to help the men and women of the fire and EMS service fighting on the front lines during this global pandemic. IAFC President Chief Gary Ludwig continues to receive myriad reports of little or no PPE in fire departments because of depleted inventories and decimated budgets because of overtime to cover those out sick and quarantined.
- PUB DATE: 4/16/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: IAFC.org

New index from University of Maryland shows who is best at social distancing; See how where you live ranks

Social distancing numbers compiled at the University of Maryland indicate D.C. residents are doing better at it than almost any state in the country, and Maryland is not far behind. The numbers were compiled by the Maryland Transportation Institute, which is based at the university. Using privacy-protected data from cell phones along with information from the government and healthcare industry, researchers are giving a “social distancing index” score to every state and county in the U.
- PUB DATE: 4/16/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WJLA-TV ABC 7 Washington, D.C.

Phoenix Fire Chief: Protective gowns getting 'hijacked'

Phoenix Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner says emergency protective gear such as gowns and N95 masks ordered by the Phoenix Fire Department are getting “hijacked” before they ever arrive in Arizona. Kalkbrenner’s comments came Tuesday after 12 News asked her about a photo posted on Facebook showing two Phoenix firefighters responding to a recent emergency wearing rain ponchos instead of protective gowns.
- PUB DATE: 4/16/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KPNX-TV ABC 12 Phoenix

Texas fire department automates inventory management without learning to code

Using automation developed by a staff member, the Garland, Texas, Fire Department can better inventory its thousands of assets and comply with regulations. “We track everything from large equipment like our apparatus -- our fire trucks, our engines, our ambulances, our staff vehicles -- all the way down to the Band-Aids,” said Debbie Watson, senior business process analyst and citizen developer at the department.
- PUB DATE: 4/16/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: GCN

Smart glasses will help protect first responders during COVID-19 outbreak

For the first time, a Princeton company is offering military-grade technology to first responders that they hope will save lives during this pandemic. They are called the X2 MR Glasses. "What these glasses are essentially are basically a phone on your face," said Nick Cherukuri, the CEO of ThirdEye Gen.
- PUB DATE: 4/15/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WPVI-TV ABC 6 Philadelphia

Mobile health program in Massachusetts allows paramedics to evaluate, test COVID-19 patients in their homes

The Town of Hanover has launched a mobile integrated health program, which is described as an innovative approach toward meeting the health needs of residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is in partnership with South Shore Health, which obtained a temporary license from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for the Town of Hanover to take part.
- PUB DATE: 4/15/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WFXT-TV FOX 25 Boston

What if California faces a disaster during the pandemic?

California has evacuation plans for earthquakes, floods, mudslides and, of course, wildfires, but what if one of those disasters occurs as the state is dealing with the coronavirus outbreak when everyone is being urged to stay home? State and local officials are trying to figure that out. “That’s something that is being looked at, but it’s challenging," said California Office of Emergency Services’ spokesman Brian Ferguson.
- PUB DATE: 4/15/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Press Democrat