Influenza (flu) affects from five to 20% of the US population in a given year and causes thousands of deaths, especially among very young children and senior citizens. As one of Oregon’s largest EMS providers, TVF&R’s emergency responders see firsthand the consequences of individuals affected by flu.
Keeping our Responders in Service: Protection from the Flu
Like nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers who interact with flu patients, it is important that our Firefighter EMTs/Paramedics are protected to minimize their risk of contracting the flu. The following are ways in which TVF&R Firefighter EMTs/Paramedics help ensure they stay healthy and on the job during flu season - and avoid transmitting the flu to others:
Using universal medical precautions when contacting patients, including wearing gloves and goggles at the scene and decontaminating medical equipment.
Adding more protection if a patient presents with symptoms, or we know beforehand from the 9-1-1 dispatch information including: masks, gowns, and limiting crew exposure.
Taking the same preventive steps that we encourage the public to take, e.g., washing hands often, eating a balanced diet, and getting sufficient rest.