How many flu runs are you going on?
What are your policies for PPE now?
Are you getting the vaccines?
We only got 100 flu shots for our dept (700+), We were given Comfo classic masks. Its our discretion to wear masks or not. We are averaging 4-8 calls a day with flu symptoms
Departmet is covering the cost of all intrestered personnel being vacinated for seasonal flu. County Health Department is providing H1N1 shots to all intrestered personnel. Outside of gloves, PPE is up to the indvidual but alot of us have taken to putting masks on more of our "ill" patients as a precaution.
We are placing mask on patients as well. Our guys wear a mask and gloves, and the body-armor of their choice.
All personnel are offered the Flu & H1N1 (Mist) vacinations, but about half refused them. Some still won't take them until they see the Adverse Reaction Data.
We've run a few "flu-like symptoms" calls. Our PPE selection has been narrowed to a specific et of H1N1 PPE for all suspected/potential H1N1 calls. Dispatchers using newly adopted H1N1 EMD protocols give our crews the information and they must wear gowns, face shields, masks and gloves as well as placing a mask on the pt. if they'll tolerate it. The driver upon arrival at the receiving hospital must go into the ED, notify them of the potential and then don new PPE before assisting in removing the pt,. from the rig, as they will have pitched all PPE before entering the cab.
Overkill? Maybe, but it seems like minor a minor issue as opposed to exposing yourself or your kids. Nothing says the girl who serves you your DD coffee doesn't have it though? So maybe there's no escape?
Each day is different. Some days we run 3 "illness" calls and some days none.
The dispatchers have certain/additional questions for flu like symptoms. If there is any suspicion that it may be related to H1N1, the dispatcher will advise "PPE required" when the unit goes enroute.
We carry the standard BSI (gloves, masks, goggles, gowns) on the rigs. Upon arrival, a N95 mask or non-rebreather is placed on the patient to limit the exposure. We also try to limit the number of crew members that make patient contact. If 2 members can make contact and do the assessment, why have 4 guys standing in the room for unnecessary exposure? Any PPE used at the scene or has the potential for exposure will be "bagged" at the scene and placed on the ambulance for disposal at the hospital. We also have hand sanitizer on the rigs.
Seasonal flu vaccines are available for all personnel. As far as H1N1 vaccine - Our county health requested several thousand vaccines, they were sent a couple hundred. They are distributing them to first responders only until additional supplies become available. As with others, some are getting them and some are not.
Worried about exposure? Not necessarily, but why take the chance of taking it home and exposing my family? These are simple things that can help limit the threat of exposure and spread.
Something to keep in mind... with the colder temperatures that autumn brings, many people are using the wood/pellet stoves and turning on their home heating systems for the first time...
The "flu like" symptoms may be the early stages of carbon monoxide poisoning.
In our neighboring town, over 30% of the school was out sick on Thursday and Friday. They just ordered the school closed for Monday and Tuesday and all exta-curriciular activities have been canceled since earlier in the week.
how is it we FF's were on the short list to get the vaccine and now we aren't. Is it something the IAFF should address
My initial post refered to 6-8 calls per shift but that number is growing.
Just got my shot of pig last week. (N1H1 vaccine)
Just getting funding for the N95 masks and they will be distributed as soon as they get them. They are back ordered for about 3-4 weeks is the last word.
Not really transporting or responding to a lot of flu calls but they could be mis-diagnosed as something else by nursing home staff or the public.
So far so good.
Our calltakers collect minimal information (chief complaint & address mostly) before passing call onto ambulance calltaker. So, a lot of flu cases are going to surprise us once we're already on scene and doing our patient assessment.
We did have the option for the seasonal flu vaccine. The city has never offered the H1N1 vaccine, but a neighboring fire department was. The state health department then reportedly pulled the H1N1 from everyone except for select groups -- none of which were firefighters, EMTs, etc.
We was all given the choice of getting flu shots and the mist for H1N1. Some people got one or both and some didn't get either one of them. They put mask on all the trucks in the middle of the summer so we would have them when flu season hit. They also changed policy to include the mask as required PPE on any medical call that has flu like symptoms. We have not really had that many calls yet that are flu related.