PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Doug Widmer and Robert Kmetz, with Medical Rescue Team South in Mt. Lebanon, say they are not taking any chances when it comes to the coronavirus. This is why they prepped all of their ambulances with kits this week. Kits are kept in the back of each ambulance.

“What we have in here are once again, N95 masks for a couple of individuals. Primarily for the responders,” said paramedic Robert Kmetz.

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Hand sanitizer, eye shields and several protective suits are all in one place and easy to get to when crews need to get to their supplies quickly.

So how do crews know what they’re getting themselves into when responding to a call?

“This is where the 911 call center comes in because they will ask specific questions to the person who has called 911 and that is going to give us some clues as to what it is we should prepare for,” said Kmetz.


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The first thing a medic or EMT does when responding to a respiratory-type call is they get out of their vehicle and grab another kit located in the front of the ambulance and put on an N95 mask and face shield to protect themselves.

“Then I would approach that individual and maintain a safe distance. They’re recommended about six feet,” said Kmetz.

MRTSA serves six communities in the South Hills, and if someone gets sick, they have back-up plans in place.

“We’re in consultations with our employees to have contingency plans in effect should we have personnel who are in need of quarantine,” said MRTSA Deputy Chief Doug Widmer.

“My personal belief is we are going to get calls for this. We’re not going to underreact. But we’re not going to overreact,” he said.

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As of Wednesday evening, there were 16 cases of coronavirus in the state, all of them in eastern Pa.