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Leon County's first responders take extra precautions to stay safe during COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 7:31 PM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 19:31:53-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — First responders are the ones who run towards danger, but the spread of COVID-19 is making doing their jobs much more risky.

Tallahassee Police and Fire Departments and the Leon County Sheriffs Office have safety measures in place for those working to keep us safe.

"The coronavirus has added a layer of concern," said TPD officer Kevin Bradshaw.

The Tallahassee Police Department is still fully operational with some staff working remotely, and despite the coronavirus, officers still have to serve and protect.

During this time you may see your neighborhood officer taking extra precautions on calls.

"We're trying to maintain our social distancing, keeping that six feet of distance," Bradshaw said. "In the instances that we can't, we are equipped with masks and gloves, and if it becomes necessary we do have gloves that we can further protect ourselves with."

The Tallahassee Fire Department showed ABC 27 just what those on duty would be using to defend themselves against this is invisible virus: Gloves, eye protection, and three types of masks.

They also have set procedures for firefighters to follow while on duty.

"We're proposing measure's where we have to wear masks around the station," said Mike Hadden, TFD division chief. "They have to make sure that they profusely wash their hands on a regular basis, that they use hand sanitizer. We're even requiring that their work boots, their duty boots they wear out on scene, when they come back to the station they leave them in the truck bay and have another pair of shoes."

They have also created an enhanced PPE situation for people who have symptoms similar to COVID-19.

Leon County Sheriffs Office says they are following the lead of the CDC.

"Of course we're following all the CDC guidelines on duty as well as off duty, with the social distancing and cleansing measures," said Shade McMillian, LCSO deputy.

Deputies on patrol have the proper PPE if they have to come into contact with someone while on a call.

Together, all first responders in the Big Bend area are prepared.

"As first responders, we sign up for this," Hadden said "Whether it's fighting a fire or rescuing someone from a building, we have to make sure that we're prepared, and one things we prepare for is communicable disease."

All departments are asking everyone to stay home and away from others to keep the spread at bay.