You’re all aware of the changes that are happening in our community and in our world due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. We want to keep you updated on what’s happening at Beacon Hose during this time, as well.
Beacon Hose held a teleconference for members Monday night to discuss updated protocols for emergency responses and other company activities. Here are some highlights:
— Responses to emergencies will not be affected — if you call 911, Beacon Hose will be there.
— For most EMS calls — especially ones that involve sickness, fever, and/or difficulty breathing — dispatchers will ask more questions than usual. Please be patient and answer these questions. You may expect to see our EMTs and EMRs arrive on scene with more personal protective equipment than usual. There is no reason to be alarmed — this will be done in an abundance of caution.
— Please be advised that our local hospitals are severely limiting visitors, especially in the emergency department, until further notice. With few exceptions, such as the parent of a minor, Beacon Hose and other EMS agencies have been asked to refrain from transporting anybody except a patient to a hospital and we will comply with that request. Others may follow our ambulance in separate vehicles and enter designated areas at the hospital.
— To make sure our first responders stay as healthy as possible, we have encouraged members to follow all federal, state, and local guidelines that you’ve seen with regard to public spaces and hygiene — all indications are that they are complying. We have asked any members who suspect that they may be sick or don’t follow the public-spaces guidelines to refrain from responding to emergency calls during this time. The last thing we want to do is have any first responder potentially make an emergency worse.
— In addition, all nonessential activity at Beacon Hose has been canceled indefinitely. This includes regularly scheduled meetings and training, as well as social gatherings at the firehouse. That also means the firehouse (as with all municipal buildings) is closed to the public until further notice.
— The firehouse will remain regularly staffed for EMS calls during the daytime (7 a.m. until 5 p.m. weekdays). Nightly/weekend EMS crews will remain in place from home, as usual. If you experience an emergency, call 911. Nonemergency calls to our regular business line will only be answered during daytime EMS hours. Most questions about community functions should be directed via phone to Town Hall.
These measures, as with all measures in our town, state, and nation, are being taken in an abundance of caution. We hope that these steps help expedite the timetable by which we can all return to our normal lives. Stay safe!