Baxter Springs emergency medical services team obtains new personal protective equipment

Joplin Area Coronavirus

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — Emergency medical service teams in southeast Kansas are increasing their efforts to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus.

Cherokee County Ambulance in Baxter Springs has new equipment to use when responding to a possible infectious call.

EMT’s have new PAPR suits or powered air-purifying respirator, a type of personal protective equipment used to safeguard workers against contaminated air.

EMS Director Wilfredo Diaz says crew members are now wearing masks, eye googles, and gloves on every call to ensure they are safe from contracting the virus.

Diaz says, “One of our staff members is in quarantine. They did have a positive exposure. So far, they have not shown any signs or symptoms, which is a good thing. But at any time that’s our biggest worry that if our staff starts to get sick, we’re going to rely on our mutual aid resources and other services to help cover ambulance need.”

Diaz says they’ve also ordered another supply of N-95 masks and other protective gear to ensure their safe from exposure.

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