Great Neck’s Vigilant Fire Company has asked the Great Neck Record to circulate a request from the company in an effort to help first responders better assist the community during the coronavirus outbreak. What follows is a request directly from Vigilant:
Dear Community Members,
We at Vigilant are now operating under special COVID‐19 directives designed to protect our volunteers, employees and you, our neighbors. Our members are no strangers to risk; we are committed to serving Great Neck with fire and EMS protection even in these perilous times.
For us to continue to do our job as coronavirus continues to spread and requires us to respond to more and more calls, we need your help.
As part of our COVID‐19 Emergency Operations Plan, we will be operating with less people on calls. We will be doing this to minimize the risk of exposure to our crews and you, the community. If we suspect that any of our members have contracted COVID‐19 or they have been diagnosed with the virus, that member will be out of service for weeks as would any volunteer and/or employee who was working directly with that person. The more members that we are forced to sideline, the less we will have to respond to calls. We need to avoid this happening, so we will be taking extra precautions when we arrive at your home.
For example, you will notice many of Vigilant’s crews will now be using special equipment, such as masks, gloves and even gowns, especially on EMS calls, to protect both you and them. Now more than ever, if you call for help, please make sure that it is a true emergency that requires an ambulance. If it is a true emergency, when you call please make sure to provide a clear description of the symptoms that you are experiencing to the dispatcher who takes your call. If you have been diagnosed as being infected with the COVID‐19 virus, please state that clearly to the dispatcher when you call. We will always respond to any call, but we can serve you better and protect you, our members and employees if we are prepared.
Conversely, if your medical situation is not an emergency, and you can get to the hospital safely on your own, or with the help of a friend or other third party, please do that rather than call for an ambulance. If you call us for a non‐urgent call, you could potentially be committing our emergency vehicles and personnel and increasing their risk of exposure when another member of the community has an emergency and needs our services more immediately. For this reason, we ask that you only call us for true emergencies to ensure that our services are available for those of our neighbors who need it most.
Thank you, Great Neck, for working in partnership with us. We will get through this together.
—Submitted by Vigilant Fire Company