Minot Fire Department suits up in PPE gear to battle COVID-19

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First responders risk their lives every day to keep us safe, and now they are battling another obstacle. We go inside the Minot Fire Department to show you how they are staying safe during the pandemic.

“COVID has changed how the fire department responds to any type of medical call,” said Training Capt. Devin Walter.

Walter says now when they receive any call, callers are asked a few questions, similar to what a hospital would ask before you enter.

“If they get that information before, they can dispatch us and let us know whether we are going on a positive code 120, which is our positive COVID-19 for the victim that we are going to,” added Walter.

Now instead of wearing their normal gear, firefighters suiting up wearing PPE gear — not only to protect them but the ones they serve.

“We’re going to end up jumping into our Tyvek suits when we get our call. And we want to make sure that we keep our radios inside so that we don’t get those infected, or contaminated,” said firefighter Hans Kristiansen. “And then the final thing that we throw on is gloves, just for that extra protection, that way our entire body is covered.”

When they arrive at the scene, they limit how many people actually need to respond to keep the contact level down. And those safety precautions don’t end when they get back to the station either.

Walter said, “When a new shift comes on, what we will do is defog every front line apparatus.
That would be any truck that responds to medical, fire, inspector vehicles and things like that.”

And, you may not know this, but Capt. Walter also says more than 90% of the calls they respond to are medical.

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