FFs Back to Work after CA Man Tests Negative for Coronavirus

March 11, 2020
Two Redlands firefighters/paramedics had voluntarily self-quarantined after they responded Monday to a call involving a patient who was having difficulty breathing.

Editor's note: Find Firehouse.com's complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic here.

A Redlands patient whose respiratory symptoms led two firefighters/paramedics to voluntarily self-quarantine has tested negative for the new coronavirus.

In a Facebook post Tuesday, March 10, the Redlands Fire Department announced that paramedics responded Monday morning to a medical emergency at a Redlands residence where a male patient was experiencing difficulty breathing. He was treated and transported to an undisclosed hospital. Later, officials said, they learned the patient is being tested for COVID-19.

“The originating call was for a respiratory emergency,” city spokesman Carl Baker said in an email. “He was treated (at his home) and showed improvement before being transported to the hospital.”


After results were released Tuesday afternoon, the paramedics returned to regular duty.

The fire station where the paramedics work, No. 264 on West Park Avenue at the City Yards, also underwent disinfection procedures, officials said.

The incident was “an effective practical exercise of the precautions” the city has put in place, Mayor Paul Foster said in a statement. He also said he was relieved to get the results, and happy the paramedics could return to normal duties as well as activities with friends and family.

Foster said the city has been working for the past few weeks to prepare for a potential COVID-19 outbreak locally.


“The health and well-being of all Redlands residents, employees and visitors to the City are of paramount importance to us,” Foster said in the statement. The city is in communication with the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, which declared a local public health emergency Tuesday due to coronavirus spread across Southern California, as well as the Redlands Unified School District and major employers and health care organizations.

There have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in San Bernardino County, but 52 people are being monitored, county health officials say.

“All available City employees will be deployed to ensure that core City functions, including essential public health and safety, are maintained,” Foster said in the statement. “The most effective protection against the virus remains education and good health hygiene habits.”


©2020 the Redlands Daily Facts (Redlands, Calif.)

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