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Grande Prairie Fire Department working to stop spread as second COVID-19 case confirmed

A case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at the Westgate Fire Station in Grande Prairie, but the city’s top fire official says they’re doing everything they can to mitigate the risk of the virus spreading further within their ranks.

Grande Prairie Fire Chief Preben Bossen says the new case is unrelated to the previously confirmed at the Salmond station. He says it saw the Westgate hall close for around half a day, but it has since been deep cleaned and reopened for business.

Bossen adds all members of staff continue to comply with strict protocols when it comes to health and safety.

“When we report for duty, we go through a medical screening process where we record our temperature, and we get asked the standard questions, like do you have symptoms or have travelled,” he says. “From that point forward we always wear our PPE, not to protect us, but patients if we go on a medical call, or customers, whatever it is.”

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Bossen says they’re currently using a cohort type system within their ranks, which will hopefully also cut down on the possibility of a wider spread of COVID-19 between firefighters and staff.

“If you have five on duty at station three, they work within their group, and if they’re going to be in contact with anybody from one of the other stations, they’ll wear a mask, maintain distance, and use hand sanitizer, all of that stuff.”

Both of the people who tested positive are isolating as part of Alberta Health Services’ health and safety protocols.

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