There. I said it again. You know who won’t be saying it? The Fire Department of New York’s Certified First Responders onboard the fire engines. In a recent department memo Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro outlines the FDNY Protocols/Guidelines For Handling Suspected Ebola Incidents. This includes this little paragraph at the bottom…
Until further notice, CFR units will NOT be dispatched to F/T type calls. However, units should be aware of the potential for confronting an Ebola/infectious disease case while responding to any CFR incident not previously coded as F/T by EMD.
This is a decision that can be viewed two ways. From a resource management perspective, it’s an intelligent and rational decision to hold those resources back from these call types. If it were an actual Ebola patient you would have an entire engine crew exposed, probably placed out of commission for monitoring, and a fire engine that is needed in it’s community would have to be taken out of service for some deep decontamination IN ADDITION to whatever process now needs to be done for the ambulance crew. From a community response point of view, well, there goes the response time. Especially since FDNY is reserving BLS Haz-Tac units for these call types, your response times are very likely to be past that 9-minute mark that they have just been squeaking under. It also raises the question, if you don’t need the engine for these types of calls then do you need them for any of the others? The answer is actually probably not, except for your respiratory and cardiac arrests, despite the propaganda that promotes the contrary.
You can expect to hear more about this kind of operational alteration as Ebolageddon continues to whip into the Stage 5 over reaction it is bound to become.