‘We need your help,’ Terre Haute Fire Department urging public to take COVID-19 seriously

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Vigo county has seen several positive cases of COVID-19, including one within the Terre Haute Fire Department.

Now, first responders are calling on the community to help lower the possibility of seeing more.

“We have another person being tested today. They felt they have some symptoms that need tested so they are going to be in contact with union hospital to get that done. And I believe we have nine people that are in a kind of quarantine-like situation,” said Fire Chief Jeff Fisher.

News that one of their colleagues tested positive for the virus is causing some firefighters to worry.

“Obviously there’s a lot of anxiety. Whenever one of your own is infected it bothers you. It’s important for us to make sure we’re protected,” said Mike Odum, president of the Terre Haute Firefighters Local 758.

Chief Fisher said he’s working to protect his crews by changing how they respond to calls.

“We hope that the patient will be able to meet us at the door and then that way we can limit the exposure from entering the residence. One person is going in, another stays at the threshold of the entry door. And if they need help the other will make entry, of course. But then we can get the patient transported and to the hospital as quickly as possible,” he said.

Both Fisher and Odum said their protection can be increased if the public does their part.

“Heed those warnings. Now they’re not hearing it just from people they don’t know, but they’re hearing it from the people that respond to them every day. We need your help,” Odum said.

Chief Fisher is asking the community to practice good hygiene and stay home.

In addition, Fisher said although the virus is a reality for his department, it won’t stop them from serving.

“We will do our job. But want to make sure that our first responders and healthcare providers are staying safe. And so that’s why we’re asking the community to stay safe also,” he said.

The chief mentioned the department only has enough N95 masks to last the next two weeks.

If you have any, you can donate them to the fire department’s main office on Spruce Street.

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