MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Social distancing is our new normal, and it’s something most people are practicing across the Lowcountry during the Coronavirus Pandemic. However, not everyone’s job allows them to do so. Those tasked with keeping us safe, like firefighters and paramedics, are taking extra measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Personal Protective Equipment, also known as “PPE,” is one of the key tools first-responders have in the fight against Coronavirus.
Mt. Pleasant Fire Department Chief Mike Mixon says even when his crews are geared up, they try to limit contact as much as possible.
“We want to protect our personnel but we also want to protect the people. Especially in nursing facilities, and things of that nature, we are not taking a large number of responders in there and potentially getting others sick as well.”Chief Mike Mixon, Mt. Pleasant Fire Department
Mixon says the department is used to being ready for anything, and they are treating Coronavirus like a hurricane by battling it as a team. The efforts are being led internally by two Exposure Control Officers.
“They are in contact with our medical control doctors, everyday. They are looking at the current guidelines from the CDC about Personal Protective Equipment as well as isolation distances and all that, it’s a really fluid thing, it changes daily, but we are lucky to have two people dedicated to that side. They are also talking to DHEC and area emergency management services and also consulting with local hospitals.”Chief Mike Mixon, Mt. Pleasant Fire Department
In the City of Charleston, the goal is to make sure first-responders have the resources they need to stay safe while doing their jobs.
“City of Charleston is doing it’s part really to make sure we maintain body substance isolation which is a fancy way of saying we take care of our first-responders and make sure that they are protected from any exposure.”Shannon Scaff, Director of Emergency Management for the City of Charleston
The Mt. Pleasant Fire Department says at this time they are well stocked with different gear to keep first-responders safe.