Volunteer firefighters train to combat infectious diseases - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Volunteer firefighters train to combat infectious diseases

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - Murrells Inlet-Garden City firefighters trained for providing care and treatment to patients with infectious diseases on Thursday.

Amidst the heightened preparedness for Ebola, the CDC sends information daily, said Captain Jerry Howerton with the department. In addition to hospitals, the information is sent to field providers, EMS and fire personnel. Part of the information is a checklist to make sure everyone is fully prepared, Howerton said.

EMS and fire personnel are required to have infection control policies, take these measures and add to the infection control plan.

Many departments have started training personnel on these issues, Howerton said. Infectious disease are not new to EMS, but due to the highly contagion of Ebola, it raises the risk of exposure.

Personnel are being trained to make sure everyone is up to date on use of equipment and cross-contamination is avoided. The training is scheduled to take place on a weekly basis. The next scheduled session is next Thursday.

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