McDowell County Emergency Services Update
Updated: Mar 14
Since January, when news of an unknown Coronavirus was identified in China, McDowell County Emergency Services began monitoring and preparing for this emerging virus now known as COVID 19. On January 22nd we created our initial EMS response plan for COVID-19 that focused on protecting our employees, first responders, and the community. By early February, McDowell County 911 Center began asking COVID-19 related travel questions in an attempt to identify suspect COVID-19 cases prior to emergency personnel arriving at the scene. These initial preparations and response plans continue to change as more and more information about this virus becomes available. We are currently following the “High Consequence Pathogens” protocol that was set forth by the state of North Carolina. This protocol has procedures for both for 911 centers and EMS response personnel to ensure a well coordinated response. In addition, the 911 center now asks appropriate COVID-19 related travel questions of all callers who are experiencing respiratory distress, flu like symptoms, chest pain, fever and general illness. We have a close working partnership with both local and state agencies and participate in multiple conference calls weekly for COVID-19, which allows us to stay up- to-date. We are working closely with the Foothills Health District and Mission Hospital McDowell to ensure a seamless response if and when it is needed. Our goal has been and will continue to be to protect the citizens and visitors of McDowell County and our employees. We will continue to closely monitor this situation and make adjustments to our response plans as needed.