HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. — The City of Hendersonville is having all of its fire stations and police department deep cleaned by a local company for free.
Fire fighters and EMS personnel are all considered essential and are continuing to work during the shut down. However, first responders are worried about the potential of spreading COVID-19 to their families or even to patients they're transporting to the hospital.
"We work in a field where for 24 hours we come together and then for 48 hours we spread back a part and some guys may live 5 minutes away, some may live an hour away. So, we don't know who intermingles with who when they're off and who they bump into and who they have contact with," said Hendersonville Fire Division Chief Gabe Hannah.
The company ServPro is gassing and wiping down every surface in all of Hendersonville's fire stations. They're also extending the service into the police department and CID.
"It's a great program. It's a great thing for us to be able to have our guys come in and have a clean start to a shift and have peace of mind that when they come back it's disinfected and clean. It eases up their mind a little bit of confidence that hey I'm going to do this today and not take it home to my family hopefully," said Hannah.
The local franchise CEO said he was following the cues of other ServPros in other states. He said he feels honored to provide some sense of peace to the fire fighters in the city.
"The people that are taking a lot of these folks to the hospital and are getting contact on a daily basis are our EMS and our fire fighters and our police department," said Charlie Brooks. "We have a close relationship with each of those departments already and we just want to continue building that relationship and making sure that they're safe. To do what we can to protect those in our community.".
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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)
According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.
What are the symptoms?
The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Or at least two of the following symptoms:
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.
The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.