Abilene EMTs travel to New Jersey to fight COVID-19

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Health care workers from across the nation have been deployed to other states to help on the front lines of COVID-19. In April, four EMTs traveled from Abilene all the way to New Jersey to help stop the spread and help those in need.

“We have to go inside these peoples homes, and bring them out sometimes,” said Metro Care Abilene EMT Eric Barstad.

After spending three weeks in New Jersey, Eric says he could not be on the front lines without the love and support of his family.

“It’s stressful at times, but the only thing I do, I FaceTime my wife and kids every day, multiple times a day. They’re the ones that keep me going in this whole thing,” said Eric.

Specific protocol are in place to help protect first responders who put their lives in danger, while helping people who might have come in contact with the virus.

“Every day once we get off shift, and before we start shift, we have to do a temperature log, kind of like a health declaration, every, twice a day actually,” said Eric.

As of Friday, May 8, New Jersey has over 135,000 confirmed cases, and due to the dire circumstances people have been showing first responders how much they appreciate them every chance they get.

“On the side of the road when you’re running lights and sirens to a call, they’re giving you a thumbs up or clapping their hands, and just, it’s amazing to get to see that kind of stuff, and it’s not an every day thing that we get to experience,” said Eric.

Eric volunteered to stay in New Jersey longer than originally planned, and even though that means more time away from his family, he knows they are in his corner every step of the way.

“I’m just so proud of all of them for stepping up to the plate to take care of what needs to be taken care of without even a second thought,” said Eric’s wife Jesseca Barstad.

Thank you to all four of the EMTs from Abilene who traveled to New Jersey to fight COVID-19.


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