Six Langley firefighters are in self-isolation after being exposed to a case of COVID-19 while on duty, Township deputy fire chief Monty Armstrong confirmed.
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“We are working closely with Fraser Health,” he said.
“They were exposed during a call,” Armstrong added.
Eight firefighters responded to a Langley residence for a medical call on March 9 and were informed by Fraser Health on Monday that the man they were assisting had later tested positive for COVID-19, Township deputy chief Bruce Ferguson said.
The man’s condition is not known, he noted.
All eight firefighters were directed to self-isolate, two have been cleared to return to duty.
“As far as I know they are doing well,” Ferguson said about the firefighters in self-isolation.
The remaining six firefighters are expected to be cleared by March 24.
Contrary to what the public is hearing, firefighters have the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to respond to calls, Ferguson said.
“If BC ambulance is not on scene when we arrive we will wait for them to come and then they will enter the premises first and determine whether or not they need our assistance,” Ferguson explained. “If they need our assistance we will dawn the appropriate PPE and go in and assist them as required.”
This is the first incident of COVID-19 exposure with Township fire, according to Ferguson.
Meanwhile, Langley City says there have been no confirmed cases of any City firefighters being exposed to COVID-19.
But to protect the public and Township crews all fire halls, with the exception of Fire Hall 6, are closed to the public.
“We are exercising social distancing and we have tape on the floor to alert the public that they can’t come any further forward than the tape on the floor,” Ferguson explained. “Our six other fire halls are closed to the public.”
Fire halls in the City of Langley remain open, but no longer hosting meetings or public tours.