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Yellowknife Fire Division's Covid measures keep firefighters physically distant, ready for emergencies

0609fenP2(2) Emelie Peacock/NNSL photo David Hampson, first class firefighter, suited up in Tyvek disposable coveralls, nitrile gloves, a respirator and safety glasses. Currently being used in cleaning off people wearing hazmat suits for decontamination, fire chief John Fredericks said the gear is used by Alberta Health Services and firefighters and emergency personnel in Yellowknife will soon follow suit. (Aug. 31, 2017)

As an essential service, the City of Yellowknife's Fire Division (YKFD) has continued firefighting work throughout the Covid-19 pandemic while also modifying its practices to protect against the virus in keeping with GNWT guidelines.

At the fire hall, YKFD staff have been following physical distancing measures as well as hand-washing and sanitizing. The hall itself is closed to the public and contractors entering the building must wear face masks, said city spokesperson Alison Harrower

"Additional training and equipment were provided to members of the YKFD, including isolation precautions and personal protective equipment (PPE)," Harrower said.

The Yellowknife Fire Division has adopted a system of physically distancing its teams of firefighters so that if one team is affected by Covid then members from other teams can replace them. NNSL file photo

YKFD platoons, the teams of firefighters who respond to calls, also physically distance themselves. If one platoon is affected by Covid then members of other platoons can replace them.

As part of its emergency response measures, the city purchased a decontamination machine for ambulances that might attend calls related to Covid infections.