NEWBURYPORT — Fire Chief Christopher LeClaire, who also serves as the Newburyport Emergency Management Director, wishes to convey to the residents and business owners of Newburyport the status of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Medical Services in the City.
The Newburyport Fire Department and the City’s ambulance provider, Cataldo Ambulance, are fully staffed and prepared to respond to any emergency.
All fire department stations and lobbies are currently closed to the public. Residents are encouraged to call the Fire Department business line at 978-465-4427 for most inquiries. Always dial 911 case of emergency. Residents are asked not to dial 911 for questions about COVID-19/Coronavirus. The state has set up the phone number 211 to answer questions that residents may have concerning COVID-19.
Firefighters and medics may appear different and may be wearing additional personal protective equipment (PPE) when responding to calls and their interactions with the public will be different, out of an abundance of caution and for the safety of first responders.
If emergency fire or medical services are needed, residents should inform the 911 dispatcher if they or anyone they have been in contact with is experiencing signs and symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 virus. The dispatcher should also be alerted if individuals or anyone they live with or have come in contact with have been required to self-quarantine.
“This is an unprecedented public health crisis,” Chief LeClaire said. “Things are going to be different, but the Newburyport Fire Department remains completely dedicated to its mission to protect the lives and property of our citizens. We may look different and may be asking you more questions than usual, but this is simply us doing our part to flatten the curve and slow the spread of this deadly disease.”
COVID-19 is the illness associated with the novel coronavirus. It has led to declarations of a Global Pandemic by the World Health Organization, a national emergency by President Donald Trump and a state of emergency for both Massachusetts and the City of Newburyport. Multiple residents of Newburyport have tested positive for the disease.
During this time of global pandemic, public health officials are strongly advising citizens to practice social distancing — remaining at least six feet away from others.
Chief LeClaire shares the following public guidelines, which have also been circulated widely by public health professionals and physicians:
- If you are sick in any way, stay home
- If you are over age 60 or have a preexisting medical condition, stay home
- If you have a fever, aches, a cough, or sore throat, stay home and isolate yourself from others
- If you can do your job from home, stay home and do so
Residents should continue to follow recommendations made by the Massachusetts Department of Health (DPH) and the CDC:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, including under your fingernails. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) can be used when soap and water are not available.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue and discard it immediately. Cough into the sleeve over your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often when coughing and sneezing.
- Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.