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Roanoke Valley first responders now using plastic tents to protect patients and providers



ROANOKE, Va. – As the coronavirus crisis intensifies, first responders continue making changes to protect both patients and themselves.

Emergency medical service crews in the cities of Roanoke and Salem, as well as Botetourt County, are now using protective tents on patients who need oxygen.

The mini-isolettes help contain respiratory droplets that could carry the coronavirus within the plastic.

This is not a new procedure, but it’s not typical.

“We’ve had to figure out how can we continue doing these treatments that people need that are less invasive and more beneficial to a patient but keep our providers safe, keep the environment cleaner,” said Jason Crouch, EMS operations captain for Roanoke Fire-EMS.

First responders are also using masks, limiting the number of providers interacting with patients, doing health screenings before coming into work and increasing cleaning.

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