During the past couple of weeks our community has been hit by something that took us all by surprise. Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak had finally reached the United States and it was just a matter of time before it was reported in Montgomery County. The Crawfordsville Fire Department began to prepare for the outbreak and with the help of many community partners and our county health officials, Dr. Scott Douglas, we seemed to more than ready to handle the many calls that we do on a daily basis but also take the many precautionary measures to handle the pandemic.
As the Crawfordsville Fire Department’s Early Intervention Specialist that works alongside the Community Paramedics we knew our everyday routine was going to be interrupted by this virus that was sweeping the nation. Our daily routine of coming into the office and interacting with one another, the many laughs, the many stories, the everyday business of just jumping into our cars and going to see the many people that we visited on a daily basis would come to a halt. Our daily operations would be told that we need to scale down and I was sent home to work via laptop and cellphone.
I struggled with the fact of how was I going to continue to do my job to the best of my ability from my home. I was like the rest of America and trying to wrap my head around such a concept was very difficult. I quickly adjusted by setting up my work space in my living room, cleared a spot for my laptop and realized that this was going to be the new norm for a while. Now to figure out how I was going to adjust from what we did on a daily basis and do it from my chair at my desk was going to be a challenge. But I am adjusting every day to the new normal that we are all facing.
My community paramedic/firefighter partner, Joe Crane, and myself are part of the Quick Response Team for the fire department. This portion of the fire department started last June and was developed to help those in our community with substance use abuse and also those dealing with mental health issues. The QRT will responds on the initial 911 call with the ambulance and if needed will follow up with the patient in the emergency room and discuss with them about treatment options. With the COVID-19 causing havoc, our operations have changed but we are still here for our citizens. Our community partners have changed many ways of helping those with addiction but are operating on a much different way than what they are used to as well. We are all adjusting our daily operations according to what the government and our local health officials are telling us. If there is any one that needs any help with addiction you are more than welcome to call our QRT number 765-401-6200 and we will do our best to help you onto your path to recovery.
We have had much success with the program and with the help of many community partners we have helped navigate numerous people into inpatient, outpatient services within our community and beyond.
During this outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, I want to make you aware that the Crawfordsville Fire Department’s number one priority is the health and safety of the citizens of Montgomery County. The many brave men and a few amazing women of the fire department are fighting the line every day to make sure that they citizens are their number one priority. We are all in this together and eventually we will see the end of it. There will be a day when we all take our laptops back to the office, resume in endless conversations, laughter will be shared among us and a hug will not be out of order. Stay safe Montgomery County.
Rachel Kenner, Crawfordsville Fire Department, contributed this guest column.