Dougherty County EMS makes game plan to fight Ebola - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty County EMS makes game plan to fight Ebola

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) -

If you're treated by an EMS crew in the near future, those first responders may ask what states or countries you've visited.

Dougherty County E-M-S is working on an Ebola pre-screening plan.

Dougherty County EMS officials say the screening will help protect them and the public if they think a patient has Ebola.

Dougherty County EMS workers are monitoring closely what's happening with the Ebola virus.

Supervisors say they're working on a game plan, and considering doing pre-screenings if they need to..

"Basically they are using lessons learned from Texas and other areas and deciding what's going to the best thing for our area," says Richard Roberts.

First responders say they always practice good hygiene while working with the public, but if Ebola cases show up in Dougherty County they will have to look at other options for protection.

"We have on our vehicles the personal protective equipment, and that will help us a lot but from our understanding this virus is so contagious, that probably what we have is not going to be sufficient," says Roberts.

Training Supervisor Richard Roberts says Ebola is not something they expected to have to deal with.

"Prior to Iraq and Afghanistan, we thought of it as a weapon possibility, but as far as a patient coming in as a individual or citizen and bringing it into our area, I don't think it was ever one of the game plans or thought processes," he says.

Roberts says they'll be having meetings with area hospitals over the next several weeks to figure out a game plan.

If they decide to implement pre-screening, a person who's determined to be a potential Ebola patient

would be put in isolation, and protective gear would be used by all health care workers taking care of them.

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