COVID-19 Update from Fire Chief
By Fire Chief Drew Smith
March 23, 2020

I hope each of you is doing well and feeling fine. If not, I pray for your speedy recovery.

Operations at the PHFD remain stable. 9-1-1 calls are at the usual level with some related to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time PHFD operational objectives are:
-Delivering emergency services.
-Maintain Continuity of Operations.
-Perform mission-essential functions to maintain readiness for response.
-Assess staffing for next 72 hours throughout each shift.

Our paramedics-firefighters assume every person we contact may have been exposed to they take appropriate precautions. We are actively practicing social distancing while outside the firehouses. We have experiences some difficulties restocking on protective wear such as masks and gowns but we appear OK for the next few weeks. While we appreciate donations of food items, at this time we ask you please do not do so to limit the potential for disease spread.

Between the Illinois Department of Public Health and our regional medical control at Northwest Community Hospital we have adequate guidance on the necessary steps we need to take. Each shift every on duty paramedic and firefighter is screened every 12 hours for sign or symptom of COVID-19. Temperatures are taken every 12 hours as well. Paramedics-firefighters are also self-monitoring for signs or symptoms while off duty with their families. Should one of our people become sick we will exclude them from working to limit spread. WE have contingency plans in place to ensure staffing remains available.

We remain committed to serving each and every one of you 24/7/365. Before calling 9-1-1, if your symptoms are similar to the flu and you are not experiencing shortness of breath, profound weakness such as unable to get out of bed, or other symptoms not common to the flu please attempt to contact your personal doctor first. Do not hesitate to call 9-1-1 should you believe you are experiencing any emergency, medical or otherwise.

May this situation resolve itself quickly and we all can enjoy the summer that is approaching.