Lincoln Fire and Rescue (LFR) reminds residents that it is safe to call 911 for medical emergencies during the COVID-19 pandemic and that hospital emergency rooms remain open and safe.
LFR staff are using procedures designed to protect patients and first responders from exposure to coronavirus, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and routine disinfections of vehicles and equipment. When residents request emergency service via 911, Communication Center employees will ask if the patient is experiencing a fever, cough or trouble breathing. If the answer is yes, the 911 operator will tell responders that a "doorway triage" must take place.
In a doorway triage situation, LFR will respond by having one provider go to the door in a mask, gown, eye protection and gloves. If possible, the patient will be asked to come outside of the building to a gurney and then moved into the ambulance for treatment and evaluation. If the patient is not mobile, two responders wearing PPE will enter the structure to evaluate the patient. In an emergency, all medical personnel will use PPE to take care of the patient.
LFR medic units are decontaminated thoroughly following all patient transports to the hospital and go through a COVID-19 specific decontamination following a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patient transport.