Six regional fire chiefs have formed a partnership to help all of their respective departments efficiently and effectively serve their communities to the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Those working together are Amesbury Fire Chief Ken Berkenbush, Merrimac Fire Chief Larry Fisher, Newbury Fire Chief Douglas Janvrin Jr., West Newbury Fire Chief Michael Dwyer, Newburyport Fire Chief Christopher LeClaire and Salisbury Fire Chief Scott Carrigan.
“During these unprecedented times, it’s even more important that we work together as we face situations we never thought we’d find ourselves in,” said Fire Chief LeClaire. “Through collaboration and cooperation, we’ll keep each other safe and be there whenever our communities need us.”
Through this partnership, the Fire Chiefs will share resources and best practices such as:
- Information on personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure departments have enough supplies and to fill any shortages should they arise
- Standardized PPE usage to ensure all departments are following the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
“Over the last couple of months, the shortage in PPE has been issue that many departments throughout Massachusetts have dealt with,” said Chief Berkenbush. “By keeping track of our supplies, we can ensure that our members have the gear they need as well as help our partners who may be running low.”
“PPE is a critical resource for all first responders and healthcare providers,” said Chief Janvrin. “It creates a significantly lower risk of spreading communicable viruses while our members are responding to calls. By working together to share this vital equipment, we can help keep local communities safe and further prevent the spread of this virus.”
The group will also:
- Create a plan on how to help neighboring departments when responding to calls
- Create a consistent strategy to deal with staffing shortages due to exposure
- Share experiences in order to promote best practices and keep members safe while responding to all calls during the pandemic
“As this situation continues to rapidly evolve, it’s important that we continue to adapt our procedures as new information comes to light,” said Chief Dwyer. “This collaboration will allow us to take the necessary steps and precautions when responding to calls to make sure everyone is staying safe,”
“No two calls are ever the same and that’s become even more apparent as we handle calls during this unique time,” said Chief Carrigan. “Working together to create these standard operating procedures ensure the steps that we all take each time will help protect firefighters and the residents they serve.”
COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, has been declared a Global Pandemic by the World Health Organization and has moved Governor Baker to declare a State of Emergency and President Donald Trump to declare a National Emergency.
“We’re grateful for the support residents have given us and for their cooperation in following all local, state and federal guidance to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Chief Fisher. “We will continue to be there for our residents during their times of need and are glad to be working with other regional departments during these unprecedented times.”