A growing group of Montgomery County fire and EMS workers are off the job because of the coronavirus. At least 19 county fire and EMS employees are in home quarantine, according to reporting done by NBC4's Scott MacFarlane.
Some of these first responders are taking the precaution because of their travel history or because they've been exposed to others with the virus. Others have tested positive for coronavirus themselves.
County officials told NBC4 that none of the 19 were exposed to the virus while on the job.
The fire department said it’s been limiting the number of responders who answer each EMS call directly in an effort to reduce the risk.
The agency has cancelled trainings and is moving schedules around to prevent being understaffed.
“We’re still able to staff with regular duty and overtime. Our duty count is about 300 people," said Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein. "When that changes, we’ll adjust again to keep up our staffing capabilities."
The county is expecting a growing wave of patients.
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However in recent days, 911 calls are down. About ten percent from this time last year and two years ago.
In part because there are fewer incidents on the road with fewer people driving.