First responders prepare for Ebola

FAIRHAVEN, Mass. (WPRI) — Police and fire crews in Fairhaven will be wearing protective gear when they respond to emergency calls for patients with flu-like symptoms.

Officials say since Ebola and the flu present similar symptoms, they’re being extra cautious.

“We didn’t want to take any chances of possibly exposing any of our first responders,” Fairhaven Police Sgt. Kevin Kobza told Eyewitness News.

The two departments have 100 protective suits which are categorized as high-level and low-level suits. A lower level suit costs about $2.00 each. Authorities say while the sight of a first responder wearing such gear may be unusual, they are urging the public to remain calm.

“Don’t panic. Just understand that the first responders are preparing themselves,” Fairhaven Fire Lt. Todd Correia said. “We had a meeting today at out local hospital, St. Luke’s, with our regional partners from New Bedford and Acushnet. They’re also in preparation mode, and they’re going to be following the same suit we are.”

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