Gadsden fire chief: ‘New normal’ will include new practices, even after COVID-19

Gadsden Fire Chief: Pandemic teaching lessons

GADSDEN, Ala. (WBRC) - Gadsden’s fire chief says his department has taken on new challenges during the COVID-19 emergency.

Speaking Wednesday to a “Community Conversations” webinar sponsored by the Gadsden Area Chamber of Commerce, Fire Chief Stephen Carroll says his firefighters have risen to challenges presented by the coronavirus.

They now approach medic calls differently, for example, in ways that minimize their own risks and preserve their supplies of personal protective equipment.

Carroll says many of these practices will become part of the “new normal,” even after the COVID-19 orders are lifted.

"We typically did not, necessarily, put on a mask, or gloves--well, we'd always put on gloves--but I mean, in that ensemble of PPE, we wouldn't normally do that. But we will be doing that in the future, because we never know what we might be confronted with," said Carroll.

Carroll says a grant approved Tuesday by the city council will enable the department to buy new equipment.

That includes a fogging device to kill coronavirus germs in large areas and a thermometer that can pick out people running high temperatures even in large crowds, thus making it unnecessary to check the temperatures of everyone in the crowd and making it possible to hold big events.

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