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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Paramedics on the front lines of the pandemic

Cleaning and sanitizing ambulances, as well as wearing PPE, are two measures first responders are following in central Iowa.

POLK COUNTY, Iowa — Iowa reported nearly 5,000 more COVID-19 cases and 26 additional deaths between Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Local 5 got a behind-the-scenes look of how first responders are battling the pandemic. 

Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, is a must-have for anyone working in emergency services.

“We see COVID-positive patients every day," said David Edgar, West Des Moines' head of EMS services.

“M95 is any patient contact, eye protection with any patient contact, gloves with any patient contact, and gowns if it’s suspected COVID."

Altoona paramedics also detailed the equipment they must wear when responding to calls.

“I will tell you that we are at a level that I would describe as a little less then comfortable," explained Deputy Chief of EMS Services Jeremiah Pratt. "But, as it currently stands, our call volume and our burn rate on our PPE ... we’re not in a depleted state.”

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