On the frontlines Ridgeland firefighters step up fight against COVID-19 threat

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RIDGELAND, Miss. (WJTV)– We’re getting a closer look at how first responders are living and working through the Coronavirus outbreak while staying healthy. In Ridgeland firefighters have altered their tactics and living spaces while getting the job done.


Whether it’s for the Coronavirus or something different before people who need help go to the hospital they’ll first come in contact with firefighters or paramedics who are also taking serious precautions to do their jobs while social distancing.


Knowing how crucial it is to keep the fire department at full staff in times like these, Ridgeland Chief Matt Bailey immediately laid out social distance guidelines for firefighters.


“The mandate is bring stuff and be prepared to be isolated for the 24 hour shift except for going on runs,” Chief Bailey said. “Normally they go out and pick up lunches or dinners at night.”


On every call now firefighters in Ridgeland are required to wear facemasks, rubber gloves and duck tape their jacket sleeves shut. Chief Bailey showed us the stockpile they’re given to be prepared.


“Unless it dictated that we utilize an N95 mask we didn’t use them,” Chief Bailey continued. “Other than that if we don’t run out of masks we have S.E.B.A’s. Protective nitrogen gloves that we always use.”


On each shift Ridgeland’s main fire station keeps up to nine firefighters on duty. They have stocked up on supplies to constantly clean it.


“Were sanitizing everything daily, in our stations daily, multiple times in our stations itself,” Chief Bailey explained. “Shutdown the stations to visitors, all of our personal protective equipment we use, now when we go on a run we’re going to wear a mask and protective equipment.”


Thankfully Ridgeland first responders have seen a noticeable decline in 9-1-1 traffic with more drivers off the roads and senior living centers closed to the public flattening the local curve.


In order to protect first responders dispatch in each county also have records of who tested positive for COVID-19 and if those people call for help firefighters and paramedics will know to be prepared.

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