FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – If a person is experiencing Ebola-like symptoms and is picked up by paramedics, that person will be riding in what rescue personnel call a big plastic bag.READ MORE: Arrest Made In Fort Lauderdale Double Shooting
Rescue staff showed how they will cover their rescue vehicles in plastic and the suits they will put on themselves and a patient.
If a patient is running a 101.5 degree fever, has diarrhea and vomiting, and says they have been in West Africa in the last 30 days, that patient is probably going to the hospital with extra special precautions.
“It’s like a big Ziploc bag,” said Deputy Chief Timothy Heiser with Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue.
Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue invited CBS4 News to the rescue station at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport to see the gear rescue personnel would use in the event of a potential case.
The protection package has been on all Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue vehicles since 1999.
It is known as a patient isolation device.
It’s a giant plastic tarp, which costs about $100 that will be used to cover the entire inside area of the rescue vehicle.READ MORE: Costco Drops Mask Mandate For Fully Vaccinated Employees, Shoppers
Rescue personnel, and the patient, will be required to wear Level C splash protection suits, which some people in the public have referred to as a “moon suit.”
“Some people might say this is overkill, it’s not,” said Dr. Nabil El Sanadi the Chief Medical Officer for Broward Health. “Ebola could be deadly.” “We must keep our first responders safe, so they can safely get a sick person to treatment as rapidly as possible,” he said.
Deputy Chief Heiser said the employees will receive updated training.
After the transport, a decontamination process must be followed for all personnel and the transport vehicle.
Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue had to use the equipment once within the last month when an inmate at the county jail complained of Ebola-like symptoms which he did not have, officials said.
To date, there have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in South Florida.
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