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News & Announcements

March 18, 2020
City Fire Department Takes Extra Precautions for COVID-19

The Santa Fe Fire Department (SFFD) first responders are taking extraordinary measures to keep themselves and patients safe during this outbreak of Coronavirus, or COVID-19. These measures include specialized training on handling of COVID patients, use of personal protective gear, and provision of quarantine quarters for potentially-exposed personnel.

Training:

  • SFFD moved quickly to get all personnel COVID-19 training. Training sessions were held across all three shifts, taking place on March 12, 14, and 16, 2020.
  • Responders received detailed written guidance on patient care for known or suspected COVID-19 patients.
  • Responders received guidance on personal protective equipment use, other infection control measures, and actions to take in the event of exposure.  This guidance will be revised as appropriate, to sync with best practices across the Country.
  • SFFD guidance is approved by our physician medical director and based on information from multiple relevant and reliable sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New Mexico Department of Health, the International Association of Fire Fighters, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

Response Coordination:

  • SFFD is collaborating with the Regional Emergency Communications Center (RECC) and local hospitals on notifications to and from EMS regarding known and possible COVID-19 patients. 
  • Protocol is in place to monitor the status of all our known or suspected COVID-19 patients and our personnel who cared for them.
  • The Department is currently exploring ways to optimize our service to known or suspected COVID-19 patients, including; designated response units, protocols for keeping patients at home and out of the ER when appropriate, telemedicine for physician consult by EMS personnel on scene, testing, and follow-up.
  • Opioid overdose outreach and THRIVE workers are minimizing exposure by reducing street outreach and shifting to office-based case management and other services.
  • The Department is taking action to accommodate personnel whose exposure concerns keep them from returning home. This includes setting up Station 6, the unstaffed fire station on West Alameda, to house up to six personnel.

The SFFD is being proactive and working with our vendors and state agencies to maintain adequate supplies of recommended personal protective equipment for our personnel and patients. We continue to do everything we can to keep our first responders safe so they can be there when Santa Fe needs them.

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