BY KEVIN LEWIS | APRIL 9, 2020
About two weeks ago, eight members of the Hinesburg Fire Department were inadvertently exposed to an individual with the COVID-19 virus during a call for assistance, according to Hinesburg Fire Chief Al Barber.
The call was not an emergency and responders were not aware at the time that they had been exposed, Chief Barber said.
Since the exposure, all of the affected members went into a two-week quarantine, staying isolated from everyone including immediate family. None of the fire department members have shown symptoms of the virus and none have been tested, Chief Barber said, noting that CDC guidelines do not call for testing unless an individual shows symptoms.
According to Chief Barber, there has been a significant drop in the last few weeks in both emergency and non-emergency calls to the fire department.
While the eight first responders were in quarantine, they were missed by the rest of the team but there was no impact on the department’s capacity to handle and respond to calls, Barber said.
The department now is fully equipped with all the necessary gear and supplies required to handle calls consistent with COVID-19 protocol and members will be as vigilant and prepared as possible, the chief said.