March 18, 2020
Emergency Dispatch Protocols Updated
Effective immediately Sidney Fire and Rescue will implement the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ohio Department of Public Safety, State Medical Board of Ohio and recommendations from Sidney Fire’s Medical Director Dr. Melissa Mekesa and Wilson Health EMS Coordinator Rich Morrett regarding phone screening prior to dispatch of emergency personnel.
According to Fire Chief Brad Jones, COVID-19 Guidance for Primary Care and Outpatient Providers was released stating that a telephone consult with the individual’s primary care physician should be the first step in the process. Based on these phone consultations providers will decide whether patients require an in-person assessment.
“Should residents require the services of Sidney Fire and Rescue, please don’t be alarmed at the questions asked by the dispatcher,” shared Jones. “Our initial line of questioning asked by the dispatchers identifying the needs of the patient has been updated to protect both the patient and our emergency responders. Callers will now be asked if the patient is exhibiting any kind of respiratory distress, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing and a series of questions about their symptoms.”
“As City Manager Mark Cundiff shared earlier in the day, the health and safety of our residents and employees are of highest priority to us,” Jones reiterated.