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State by State: March 2021

CALIFORNIA: LAFD COVID Infection Rate Drops With Vaccinations

The number of Los Angeles firefighters testing positive for the coronavirus has dropped significantly since the city fire agency began offering its members vaccinations, Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said in a late-January memo to firefighters. Terrazas said the LAFD has seen a “sharp decline” in cases since firefighters started getting the shots on Dec. 28. A chart included with the memo shows the LAFD was averaging more than 15 new cases per day before the vaccination program. The number soon plummeted. By the end of January, the department averaged fewer than five new cases per day. 

FLORIDA: Medic, Captain Arrested in Alleged Vaccine Theft 

A 17-year Polk County Fire Rescue captain turned himself in to face charges in connection with the alleged theft of COVID-19 vaccines. Tony Damiano, 55, faces one felony count of official misconduct and one misdemeanor count of petty larceny. Damiano was wanted in connection with the theft of three doses of Moderna vaccine, allegedly carried out by 31-year-old paramedic Joshua Colon at Damiano’s order. Colon was also arrested. Sheriff Grady Judd said Damiano asked Colon to obtain the vaccine for Damiano’s elderly mother, who is sick. 

NEW JERSEY: New Jersey System Tests Ambo Disinfectant Spray

Neptune Township EMS has become one of the first EMS departments in the nation to install a new in-vehicle disinfectant spraying system to protect its members and the residents of its community in response to COVID-19. Designed by Frontline Innovations LLC, the MEDS Unit features an onboard system to disinfect an ambulance between emergencies and significantly reduces the amount of time it takes crews to prepare for the next call. Neptune Township EMS is having the system installed in each of its six ambulances. 

OKLAHOMA: As COVID Sidelines Ambos, Cops May Transport Medics

As escalating numbers of COVID-19 cases have hobbled local resources in Muskogee, long waits and extended transports have limited the ambulances available for other patients. As a result leaders in January authorized police to provide emergency transportation for medics. “This will allow us to assist them when they get overrun with calls, basically because of the pandemic,” Police Chief Johnny Teehee said. Medics transported to scenes by police will evaluate patients and be able to summon an ambulance if one is needed. 
 

 

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