FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro on Tuesday ordered that ambulance workers with 80 hours of training in “hazardous tactics” respond to all 911 calls involving anyone with a fever who has traveled to West Africa recently, a department official said.
The directive, which goes into effect Wednesday, marks a step up from previously implemented Ebola protocols. The “Haz-Tac” workers will be the only ones allowed in contact with the patients, unless they need to be taken to a hospital immediately, FDNY Deputy Commissioner Frank Gribbon said.
Meanwhile, a law-enforcement source said the Port Authority last week began distributing sealed, plastic packages of protective gear to its 2,000 cops, whose duties include patrolling JFK and Newark airports.
Each “Hi-Risk Kit” contains a gown, a face mask with eye shields, non-latex gloves, a disinfecting handwipe, and a red “Biohazard” bag for infectious materials.
The Centers for Disease Control began screening passengers arriving at JFK from West Africa for Ebola on Friday, and will start doing the same at Newark on Thursday.