With some PVC pipes, plastic sheeting and a little ingenuity, the Hall County Fire Services came up with what they’re calling a “COVID cover” for protection against the coronavirus.
“It’s an idea that came from some of our folks in operations, and they got together and started messing with some PVC,” Fire Services’ spokesman Zach Brackett said.
Lt. Jason Tomlin and Sgt. Daniel Funk worked to develop the system, with the base of the structure now fitted on all stretchers as an additional layer of protection for EMTs/paramedics and making decontamination quicker. The piping can be broken down and reassembled quickly as needed.
The materials were donated by the Flowery Branch Home Depot, and the plastic canopy is one-time use only. The pipes are also decontaminated.
The cover is intended to reduce the amount of airborne particulates during transport in the ambulance.
If a patient will not tolerate the cover, then it won’t be used, Brackett said. It is intended for patients with a known positive test for COVID-19, patients under investigation for COVID-19 or patients with signs or symptoms of the virus.
“Obviously, this isn’t going to be something we’re going to utilize for every patient. If they require airway management, if they’re unconscious or if they’re in critical condition, we’re not going to utilize this,” Brackett said.
Any patient under the cover will be on supplemental oxygen, and the exhaust fans will be turned on to get some air moving through the ambulance, Brackett said.
Hall County Fire Services has also provided warehouse space to serve as a distribution point for personal protective equipment to surrounding counties.
“It gets delivered in the morning and then by that afternoon it’s distributed out to the agencies that requested supplies,” Brackett said.