HEMSI, HPD supplies stable as potential coronavirus surge looms

HEMSI ambulance
HEMSI ambulance(Source: WAFF)
Updated: Mar. 31, 2020 at 6:12 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Madison County leaders are forecasting a surge in coronavirus cases in two weeks, and they’re preparing it.

Huntsville Police and HEMSI are gathering Personal Protective Equipment to issue to its officers and paramedics in the field.

Tuesday, HPD spokesman Lt. Michael Johnson said the department has sufficient PPE for the moment, but has ordered approximately 10,000 more masks for its officers

He said the supplies will be used as needed, and dispatchers will help communicate if a scene will require the equipment.

“Probably those things that would have the highest risk of an arrest, where you come into close contact, things like that," he said.

HEMSI CEO John Howell said the company is working to gather PPE on a daily basis.

He said HEMSI has a steady supply for the next 7 to 10 days, at a rate of using 50-80 sets of gear a day, but is echoing the need for communication with 911 dispatchers.

“They’re going to ask questions about if you have a fever, if you have symptoms, we just need callers to answer those truthfully, honestly, to the best of your ability,” he said.

Howell said HEMSI calls are down 20 percent, which is helping the situation.

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