Juneau fire department prepared to transport coronavirus patients

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY)- Capital City Fire Rescue is prepared in the event it needs to transport coronavirus patients to the hospital especially when the cruise ships start arriving in Juneau.

    Fire Chief Rich Etheridge said on Action Line that this situation isn't anything new for the department.  "It's a different disease, but we've survived the SARS Flu and the Swine Flu and all those other ones, but anyone with the flu,  we use these same kinds of precautions."

    The chief explained that they decontaminate between every transport and they have respiratory protection.  The department received a state grant last year to fund hoods equipped with HEPA filters for ambulance crews. They are also equipped with an isolation pod that can be loaded into ambulances.

    Chief Etheridge said the hospital has isolation rooms that he believed could accommodate up to five patients.  Emergency shelters acquired by the city and borough's emergency services office over the years provide the ability to set up a mobile hospital that would accommodate up to 150 patients.

     

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