Acushnet, Mass. (WPRI) — The Acushnet Fire Chief says that over the weekend, the department responded to a call to transport one of the town’s residents known to be infected with COVID-19.
Chief Kevin Gallagher posted a photo from that call on Facebook — with permission from the spouse of the patient to post — with an urgent message to his community.
“We followed all necessary protocols and all treatment and transport standards were met if not exceeded. Two crew members made entry and I remained more than seven feet away, in full PPE, in the event a third Paramedic was needed,” Gallagher wrote. “We followed the book to the letter. But the book didn’t prepare us for the fear we saw in the patient’s eyes.”
Gallagher says that part of his job now is to make sure the community knows the virus is in Acushnet and the crisis is real and now just something on their televisions.
“I spoke with the patient’s spouse,” Gallagher continued. “I said that part of my job is to work towards getting our community to understand that the virus is here and that the crisis is real, not just something talked about at a televised briefing. They agreed. ‘People are not taking this seriously,’ they said. ‘I don’t understand it.'”
Gallagher says his post was not to emphasize the work of his department, but instead, to remind people about a real threat they can help curb.
“Social distancing is starting to getting tiring for many people,” Gallagher said. “Being home from school is getting to be a burden, families are out of work it’s horrific but there’s a reason for that.”
Two weeks ago Acushnet learned of its first case of COVID-19 and there are now at least 16 cases in the town.
“We are not the focus of this post, YOU are Acushnet!” Gallagher ended his post. “This is one of our neighbors. Honor them by following the social distance requirements, constantly washing your hands, limiting possible exposure and being smart during this unprecedented time.”