Provincial Health Officer order regarding notifying first responders
Please see the following information regarding notifying First Responders
To: The Fire Chiefs Association of BC
Re: Provincial Health Officer order regarding notifying first responders
In response to the order issued today by the Provincial Health Officer regarding changing the notifying of our fire first responder partners to reduce their potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus, we are writing to advise you that effective immediately, the follow changes need to be followed in relation to responding to BCEHS events:
- First responders will NOT be sent to any potential influenza-like-illness (ILI) or COVID-19 events.
- Automatic activation of first responders will be restricted to "purple" events only with direction to wear N95 masks and full PPE, application of a surgical mask to the patient, perform compression only CPR and defibrillation as necessary with no oxygenation or airway management until paramedics arrive.
- Automatic activation of first responders will be considered for specific events requiring technical rescue, or lift assist as requested by paramedics. All responders must, at a minimum, wear droplet precautions including eye protection and a surgical mask.
- First responders may be considered for a select group of "red" events when paramedics are delayed by more than 20 minutes.
We will be working with our BCEHS IMIT staff so that our internal notification processes reflect this change, but the technology changes will take overnight to implement. Once the changes are made, your fire services will receive notification only for calls as outlined above until we receive further notification from the Provincial Health Officer that it is once again safe to resume our regular notifying processes with first responders.
Chief Medical Officer