On Tuesday, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis met with Pensacola firefighters to focus on preparing for the growing coronavirus threat.
Patronis said the Panhandle could be vulnerable to coronavirus.
“Because of Pensacola’s proximity to the Alabama Port, we’re assessing readiness activities for the coronavirus, as the Alabama Port serves Chinese ships on a weekly basis,” he said. “Coronavirus is causing a lot of disruption at the ports. It takes about a month for a ship to travel from China to the Alabama Port, so whatever delays are occurring in China will affect the regional economy.”
Patronis said fire departments across the state need to prepare for equipment challenges.
“The State Fire Marshal’s Office administers the State Emergency Response Plan (SERP), so we can facilitate the movement of critical assets in case a region needs it. When it comes to protecting our brave men and women from infectious diseases, face shields and goggles are critical,” Patronis said. “As a result of the coronavirus, suppliers of medical equipment have noticed both an increase in demand and a disruption of their supply-chains.”
The International Association of Firefighters continued to offer some tips on how first responders can protect themselves from the virus.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.