By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Hutchinson Fire Chief Steven Beer is proud of his staff for how they are handling the adjustments needed in the midst of a pandemic.
"They don't write a playbook for this type of stuff," Beer said. "Firefighters are masters at making things happen and making sure that we take care of our citizens. We adapt really easy to changing conditions. This is definitely what has happened through this COVID-19 pandemic."
The point is that on medical calls the firefighters with EMT training face risks others might not.
"Our troops come in each day to work, they get their temperature taken," Beer said. "They are asked seven questions in the morning when they start their shift. The next morning when they go off shift again, they get their temperature taken, they go through the same seven questions and everything's documented. To date, knock on wood, I think we're one of the few agencies, we have not had one person hit quarantine."
Beer knows that is because the staff has been disciplined and they have the resources they need.
"I've got to give a shout out to Adam Weishaar," Beer said of the Reno County Emergency Management Director. "He's been able to keep us in PPE and maintaining a good inventory here. We've got stuff in queue all the time here and even some stuff that we've got donated from the community."
Having those stocks of Personal Protective Equipment has allowed the department to go into the homes of the sickest people in Hutchinson and help them without to this point having any staff losses due to illness.