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Santa Maria Fire crews ‘trying to stay ahead’ of coronavirus with additional protective gear

SANTA MARIA FIRE DEPARTMENT

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The Santa Maria Fire is stepping up their efforts in light of the Coronavirus.

Since the Coronavirus outbreak, the Santa Maria fire department is seeing an increase in the number of emergency calls by about 2 percent.

"Dispatchers are screening all callers and asking for questions such as do they have a fever have they traveled do they have shortness of breath, said Tony Clayburg with the Santa Maria Fire Department.

Firefighters are respondiing by stepping up their protection levels.

They're now showing in a gown, face mask, and protection gloves

This is to reduce their exposure and minimize the chance of spreading coronavirus to the public.

"If we get a possible coronavirus call we will come to your door with this face mask, gloves and a gown. Don’t be alarmed. This is for our own protection as well as yours," said Scott Mangler with the Santa Maria Fire Department.

If firefighters are needed, Clayburg is encouraging the public to meet them at the front door to reduce exposure.

"If they’re in a small poorly ventilated room that will increase exposure to all personnel involved and if they can get to a more ventilated area then that will reduce exposure and hopefully reduce the spread," Clayburg said.

The Santa Maria police Department is also stepping up their efforts to increase safety by disinfecting all equipment daily.

They’re maximizing the use of cell phones as well.

“We are doing what we can to limit contact. We have a report that’s not of an emergency nature we can handle things on the phone and help people out.. But We’re going to be there for you if you need us. We’ll be responding," said Phil Hansen with the Santa Maria Police Department.

Both the fire and police departments are continuing to find ways to reduce the spread of the virus while still serving the community.

California / Community / Coronavirus / Home / Lifestyle / Safety / Santa Maria - North County / Video

Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martelotti is a reporter at KEYT|KCOY|KKFX.