The Madison Fire Department is actively working with the CDC, Dane County Emergency Management, local hospitals, and the 911 Center to ensure that we have a safe and effective Ebola response plan. We recognize the significance of our role in safely transporting possibly infected patients to local hospitals while protecting our community from spread of the Ebola virus.
The Ebola response process begins with the 911 Center. If a 911 caller complains of any symptoms similar to those of an Ebola virus infection, the 911 dispatcher will ask follow-up questions regarding travel locations and/or contact with any persons who have traveled. These questions are based on the most current CDC recommendations for location and time of travel. If the 911 caller answers "yes" to the travel and contact questions, the 911 Center will immediately notify the responding units.
Once 911 responders have been made aware of the infection threat, they will don appropriate personal protective equipment, place a mask on the patient, and prepare the patient for transport to a local hospital. En route to the hospital, radio communication will notify the Emergency Department to prepare for isolation and containment measures.
Madison Fire and its local partners are meeting weekly to ensure we are coordinating our efforts with the most current CDC recommendations. We are participating in local Ebola response drills that test the whole system--from the 911 Center to the isolation unit--and we will continue to prepare until the threat is contained outside our borders.
For more information on CDC Recommendations for 911 Responders, see the following link:http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/interim-guidance-emergency-medical-services-systems-911-public-safety-answering-points-management-patients-known-suspected-united-states.html
Steve A. Davis, Fire Chief