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Local First Responders Monitoring Staff Health Indicators

April 28th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Frontline first responders and communication specialists are required by state and local medical direction to check certain vitals signs throughout their shift that may alert them to a potential exposure, according to emergency services officials. 
 
“Protection of our first responders and communications staff is so very important during this crisis,” Emergency Services Director James Pyles said. “Early on local medical direction instituted guidance for pre-hospital clinicians to monitor their temperature and pulse, at minimum twice during a 12-hour shift and every 8 hours during a 24-hour shift.”
 
These two indicators will alert their supervisors to a potential exposure. 
 
“We are accomplishing two things by monitoring a staff members temperature and pulse. We are ensuring they are healthy and aren’t showing any signs of illness and if they are, we can get them treated,” Allegany County Department of Emergency Services Public Information Officer Lt. Todd Bowman said. “The second part of that is, with the early detection, we can protect other staff members from exposures.” 
 
When our medical directors first issued this guidance, pre-hospital providers documented and submitted the required information on paper, Bowman said. 
 
“One of our EMS supervisors has taken it one step further to make the process more streamline and effortless by creating a Google Form,” Pyles said. “Staff can use their phones or tablets to submit the required information to our Quality Control and Assurance Officer who monitors it daily.”
 
Pyles credits EMS Lt. Matt Krause with creating the Google Form that career and volunteer pre-hospital clinicians can submit their pulse and temperature.
 
“This new process eliminates the need for provides to fax, manually scan or drop off the papers to the office,” Pyles said. “They can do it all remotely, from their assigned stations.”
 
Pyles added that he is incredibly honored to work with such an incredible team during this crisis. 
 
“We truly are a team at DES. Working with our allied agencies at the health department, UPMC-Western Maryland. Our pre-hospital clinicians, both career and volunteer, rising up to the challenge, Pyles said. 
“It amazes me every day during this crisis.”
 
The Google Form was released on Monday to all Allegany County fire and EMS departments with the updated policy from the jurisdictional medical director, according to Bowman. 

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