First responders are continuing to respond to calls for service, which hasn’t slowed down due to the pandemic.

Greene County Ambulance Director Michelle Madsen tells Raccoon Valley Radio all ambulance crews wear full personal protective equipment (PPE) when responding to all calls. The PPE items include gloves, gowns, masks, and face shields. Madsen talks about another specialized piece of equipment they wear if they suspect someone has COVID-19 or if they know an individual has tested positive.

“We do wear what are called capr devices. They are kind of a self-contained, air-purifying apparatus that allows us to make sure that we have airflow to keep the virus away from our faces so that we can function well.”

Madsen says Greene County Dispatch notifies them before they respond, so they know the situation. She notes that sometimes there are situations where people are asymptomatic but are positive for the virus and will never know it. However, Madsen explains why she decided to always wear PPE’s, regardless of the call.

“And it just protects all of us. Could it be overzealous? Possibly. But we haven’t regretted that choice at all. In the beginning, a lot of outlying agencies in the metros around the United States were saying they are getting caught not being protected going in (to a situation). So we’ve just made the choice to suit up for every game, if you will.”

Madsen points out that she has been staffed the entire time of the pandemic and call volumns have stayed average, with no increase in calls because of COVID-19.