County Executive Curran Outlines First Responder Infectious Disease Preparedness

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran discusses the county’s preparedness during the COVID-19 pandemic and how first responders will tackle the outbreak.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran was joined by New York State Assemblywoman Judy Griffin and first responders from the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management (OEM), EMS and the fire marshal’s office, as well as the Malverne Fire Department, to review Nassau’s emergency pandemic and infectious disease protocol.

On March 13, Curran declared a state of emergency in Nassau County.

Pandemic and infectious disease preparedness is a part of training for many of Nassau County’s first responders. The Nassau County Fire Marshal’s office, working as both a hazardous materials response team and as the county fire coordinator, is able to assist and coordinate the 71 volunteer fire departments and six volunteer ambulance corps within Nassau County on responding to small local and large regional hazardous materials incidents, such as the coronavirus outbreak.

Curran detailed the role and capabilities of many specialty vehicles that first responders use to respond to major outbreaks, including:

  • Seven hazmat vehicle that act as rolling warehouses of hazardous materials supplies and decontamination equipment to assist first responders in an outbreak situation.
  • A special operations vehicle that is stocked with equipment to assist firefighters, EMS and all first responders with large scale aid activations during complex emergencies.
  • An OEM command bus, which has the capability to communicate with residents and all levels of government and can facilitate all levels of government working together on coordinating responses in real time.
  • A major emergency response vehicle (MERV), which is fully stocked with medical supplies and equipment, is designed to respond and transport up to 18 patients at a time and can be used for on-site triage, EMS rehabilitation and medical support for long term incidents.

“Nassau County is on the front lines of tacking the spread of the coronavirus, and in the event of a large-scale outbreak, our county is prepared to fight back with every emergency resource at our disposal,” Curran said. “Although the severity of any potential major outbreak or pandemic cannot be predicted, a planned and coordinated response is critical to minimizing the public health impact, as well as social and economic disruption to our lives.”

Protecting first responders and their families also contributes to the safety and security of a community during a major outbreak. As a component of the county’s critical infrastructure, emergency services play a vital role in responding to requests for assistance, triaging patients and providing emergency treatment.

“EMS system responders are being advised to wear a mask, gloves and eye protection when examining and caring for patients with signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection,” Curran said.

First responders have access to alternative and secondary telephone systems and radio frequencies, which can reduce the load on systems during the event of an emergency.

“Communications is important to maintaining situational awareness and for effective EMS operations during a major outbreak or other public health emergency,” Curran said. “Nassau County’s first responders stand at the ready to assist the residents of Nassau County as we all work together to mitigate and respond to the spread of coronavirus.”

—Submitted by the office of Nassau County Executive Laura Curran

Anton Media Staff
In addition to its arts and entertainment publication Long Island Weekly, Anton Media Group publishes 16 community newspapers, several magazines, specialty publications and websites. With brands dating back to 1877, Anton has a commitment to deliver trusted and relevant content to the communities it serves.

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