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Oceanside Fire Department adjusts procedures amid coronavirus


Oceanside Fire Department has adapted its protocols to ensure everyone’s health and safety during the time of the coronavirus, said Fire Chief Robert Sutton, Jr.

The department of about 220 members has canceled meetings and all nonessential activities, while closing all firehouses, except for during responses to emergency calls, to comply with social distancing.

“We’re still able to provide all of the same service, still responding to any emergency,” Sutton assured.

When there is a call, dispatchers ask extra screening questions to get information about the callers’ health. This helps responders better prepare and make sure they are properly protected.

“[Members] are handling it amazingly,” Sutton added. “Everyone stepped up to do what they needed to do. It’s a challenging time for everyone, but they are still coming out for all kinds of calls, and we’re proud to say we’re still able respond at full capacity.”

Sutton noted that anyone making an emergency call should know they’ll be asked a series of questions to help responders prepare. He thanked the community for their unwavering support during a difficult time. “It’s tremendous and really nice to see how everyone’s come together,” he said.