If you are feeling sick, please do not visit our fire stations for evaluation. We can’t test you for COVID-19 nor can we transport you to the hospital for a test. Also, there is NO way for us to tell what kind of virus you or your family member might have. As you’ve heard from the media, the demand for emergency services has risen dramatically and there is a severe national shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gowns, masks, and gloves. So we’re asking you, PLEASE use the 911 system in an informed and responsible manner, so our fire engines, medic units, and ambulances can do the most good and continue to protect our communities.
In case of flu-like illness, please call 911 only in the event of severe difficulty breathing, otherwise, call your primary health care provider or the Prince William Health District Coronavirus Disease hotline on 703-872-7759. And we can’t emphasize this enough – emergency rooms will not see you faster just because you are brought in by an ambulance.
WHAT TO EXPECT IF YOU CALL US DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Since the start of the COVID-19 spread in our area, NVFD has taken precautions to limit exposure to its members and the public. We are following best practices CDC guidelines and recommendations for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). We’ve also adjusted our response procedures to limit the number of first responders who make close contact with patients. While a full complement of providers is assigned to emergency medical calls, most will remain a recommended safe distance away and only be called inside to assist if necessary.
If you can, please meet us at your front door and be ready to go. We are not trying to rush you, it’s just much safer for everyone if we can evaluate you inside one of our ambulances.
And don’t be scared when you see us wearing PPE like this, it’s for your safety and ours. It doesn’t mean you have COVID-19 – we’re just following the guidelines. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Be safe out there. Let’s all look out for each other.