A confirmed COVID-19 case seeking medical attention was sent to Saint Vincent Hospital. First responders say the patient was safely transported to the hospital.

“The dispatcher got some information. It was a difficulty breathing call at the Microtel.” said John Spaulding, President of Perry Hi-Way Hose Company.

Spaulding is talking about a call to the 911 center that resulted in a Perry Hi-Way Hose Company crew being dispatched to a patient with COVID-19 symptoms.

“The patient that called 911, and following the dispatch protocol questions, advised us of having potentially COVID-19.” said John Grappy, Director of the Department of Public Safety.

Grappy added that the Department of Public Safety advised the Perry Hi-Way Hose Company to take respiratory precautions prior to their arrival. Spaulding said they did that.

“The crew went in there with their protective gear on and found the patient and transported them down to the Saint Vincent facility.” Spaulding said.

Spaulding says that this protective gear includes N95 masks, gowns, gloves and face shields keeping first responders from being exposed to respiratory droplets. First responders say they are concerned about the limited communication with the Health Department, adding it’s unclear whether the patients they are transporting have tested positive for COVID-19.

“The Health Department did not seem to feel it necessary to notify us, Perry Hi-Way Hose Company, as the emergency responder for Summit Township that they were having some people quarantined at this specific facility.” Spaulding said.

The paramedic who transported the patient says there is a stigma to first responders who have come into contact with potential COVID-19 patients. However, the panic is unnecessary. All first responders take the safety precautions very seriously.