Dougherty Co. paramedics suit up to respond to COVID-19 calls

Dougherty Co. paramedics suit up to respond to COVID-19 calls

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Dougherty County’s first responders were among the first in the county to implement PPE specifically for COVID-19.

Sam Allen, Dougherty County EMS Director, said since first word of the virus, his department has been preparing.

“We actually started pre-planning back on January 24. We received notification then to be expecting a potential outbreak. We started re-sourcing vendors to get what we could, so the department paid for those items,” said Allen.

Before March 11, paramedics wore their regular uniforms and gloves and would wear a mask or goggles if needed.

Now, in the midst of a pandemic, the same responders are unrecognizable.

“After the CDC and WHO, and specifically the Georgia Department of Public Health came out and said eye protection, full-blown gowns, Tyveck protective suits, the whole works, that was implemented pretty much early March,” James Badgett, a Dougherty County paramedic, said.

Dougherty County EMS was one of the first county departments to implement PPE.
Dougherty County EMS was one of the first county departments to implement PPE. (Source: WALB)

County Administrator Michael McCoy said Dougherty County will receive Cares Act funding in the coming weeks.

Some of it will go towards repaying the department for previous purchases, and help them to buy more in the future.

“We are also looking at getting additional supplies on hand so that we do see a third surge, or a fourth surge or a spike, we are prepared,” said Allen.

The supplies won’t just help the EMTs, paramedics pointed out, but also your friends, family and co-workers during times of need.

“Once you get suited up, even though it is hot, you know that it is necessary. And it allows you to focus back on the patient and do everything you can for them,” Colby Mills, also a Dougherty County paramedic, said.

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