911 centers in W.Va. adopt new measures to protect first responders

By  | 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- If you call 911 now, expect to be asked a number of different questions by those on the other line.

The new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are meant to protect first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The questions will only be asked by operators after first responders have been dispatched. The operators will ask callers the questions to determine if those responding need to take additional protective measures to avoid exposure to the virus.

According to officials, the questions will not slow response times, but will allow first responders time to put on personal protective equipment or take other precautions while responding to emergencies.

“Our 911 Centers have a great responsibility to assist the public and protect first responders. While the added questions may seem somewhat burdensome, the overall goal is getting the public the help they need and ensuring the safety of those coming to help them,” said Dean Meadows, President of the West Virginia Emergency Management Council. “These additional questions will help slow the spread, flatten the curve and make West Virginia whole again.”

Officials are urging you to not call 911 with questions about COVID-19, but instead to call your local health department or WV211.