Phoenix Fire Department reports fewer calls amid coronavirus outbreak
PHOENIX — As the coronavirus outbreak has brought much of the Valley to a halt, the Phoenix Fire Department is receiving fewer calls.
“We are actually seeing a decrease in those routine calls that we go on,” Phoenix Fire Captain Rob McDade told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
Those routine calls include things such as reports of car accidents, low blood sugar and other injuries that stem from people being out and about in the community.
McDade added that much of the drop in calls is due to Arizona residents heeding the advice of state leaders by staying home, avoiding outdoor activities and traveling only when essentials are needed.
At the beginning of the month, the United Phoenix Firefighters Local 493 asked the community to not call 911 for flu like symptoms. The goal behind their message was to limit the amount of possible exposure of coronavirus to firefighters.
Although there has been a slight decease in their routine calls for service, McDade believes Coronavirus has may have people rethinking before they dial 911.
“We are seeing service related calls with car accidents or maybe a fall injury where someone else has called 911, but they’re [the patient] telling us: ‘Listen I don’t want to go to the hospital and possibly be exposed to coronavirus or something else out there right now,’” McDade said.
With fears growing over Coronavirus, the department reports some customers ask to be evaluated and then return home.
“The word is out there to stay home and people are listening and we’re listening to our customers and trying to give them the best advice,” McDade added.
“This is a different time for us and we’re adapting to it.”
Although fire trucks in the city aren’t as busy as usual, the 911 dispatchers remains inundated with calls.
“Our alarm room is busy fielding calls with questions about COVID-19,” McDade added. “People are calling 911 and not immediately asking for a fire truck or ambulance; they’re looking for advice and guidance.”
The Arizona Department of Health Services wants the public to stay home if mild Coronavirus symptoms are present. With no treatment plan in place, medical professionals believe staying isolated at home is the safest option to slow the spread of coronavirus.
For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.