Abilene Fire Department establishing Virus Response Unit

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Abilene Fire department is establishing a Virus Response Unit (VRU). The VRU will respond to calls where a patient may be displaying symptoms associated with COVID-19.

“This unit is comprised of two paramedic firefighters who will staff our current Medic1 vehicle,” said the Fire Department in a press release.

“Normal response to these types of calls is either a fire engine or ladder truck.  Assigning a specialized team to these calls allows personnel from this unit to become more familiar with signs and symptoms of COVID-19 patients and it also minimizes possible exposure to AFD personnel.”

According to the AFD, a virus response unit will be placed into operation today while they prepare an additional VRU so it’s ready for implementation if the need arises.

“Along with the VRU, a new COVID-19 protocol is being distributed to personnel today,” said the AFD. “This protocol was created, in association with AMR-Metrocare, in an effort to better serve potential patients and to ensure the safety of responding personnel.”

 This protocol is directly related to the Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) protocol concerning Pandemic/Epidemic/Outbreak (PEO) emergency calls.  

Dispatchers will use the PEO term and respond to the VRU to calls involving potential COVID-19 symptoms.

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