EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - 2020 was the busiest year to many fire departments in Imperial County due to the high volume of COVID-19 related calls.
Imperial Fire Department said it answered about 4-6 COVID-related call per day, and is now encountering about two a week.
The department continues to work in fighting the virus. They recently trained department emergency medical technicians, along with personnel from other local fire departments, to administer the vaccine during any upcoming mass vaccination events.
Imperial Firefighter Jason Brown describes this year as one he will never forget. “It was hectic, challenging, and the most memorable,”said Brown.
Brown says the hardest part of being a first responder was watching how quickly this virus progressed.
“Seeing people that you go to their house and its mom or dad that has it, or an elderly person that has it and the son or daughter is living with them is fine and then two days later the son or daughter is sick,” said Brown.
Now COVID calls have dropped and the fire department is preparing for their next phase in fighting the virus.
Some fire personnel have learned to administer the vaccine in case they are needed to do so in a mass vaccination clinic.
“It augments the capabilities of the public health department and helps alleviate the burden of work that needs to be done,”said Juan Rodelo, Imperial Fire Chief.