COVID-19 PPE Selection and Care Guidelines for First Responders
COVID-19 Protective Clothing Guidelines
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the virus is thought to spread primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled by the lungs. It may also be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
For more information on how the virus spreads and how to prevent getting sick visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Managing risk without compromising patient care requires preventative measures to reduce the spread of disease. As a first responder, you need to be ready to tackle any situation that directly affects street-level operations. Follow these guidelines recommended by the CDC to stay safe while protecting those you serve:
- Wear all appropriate PPE and consider using the additional protection of an isolation gown or coverall
- Take precautions when donning and doffing PPE. Refer to this CDC flyer for instructions
- Remain cautious depending on where you are responding to calls such as, hotels, office buildings, or multi-family homes
- Limit the number of people and equipment entering a potentially contaminated scene
- Maintain your distance and limit physical contact as best as possible
- Put a surgical mask on the individual you are helping
- Thoroughly wash your hands for 20 seconds before and after patient contact
- Keep areas clean at the station by wiping down surfaces such as, door handles and light switches
- Disinfect bunk rooms and dining areas
- Disinfect all PPE, paying special attention to the cleanliness of SCBA facepieces
- Reduce your risk of exposure by not making trips to the store and avoiding crowds
- Remain professional and educate the public on the risks
Refer to the below links to learn more about the CDC, IAFC, and IAFF guidelines for which types of PPE can act as a contamination shield to prevent the transfer of COVID-19.
Cleaning and disinfecting are only as good as the products used to do so. There are many EPA registered cleaners and sanitizers available but it doesn’t mean they are safe to use on turnout gear or other types of protective apparel.
We recommend Shurguard Ultimate (EPA Registration #10324-81-7546). Shurguard Ultimate is a hospital-grade laundry sanitizer that, when used as directed, is effective against a wide range of viruses and bacteria including 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)**.
Follow the link below to stock up on COVID-19 approved disinfectant, Shurguard Ultimate, and other turnout gear laundry solutions.
Check out our video vault for instructions on properly cleaning and maintaining PPE.
**EPA Approved Statement: