County and city officials are urging patients with the coronavirus or its symptoms to disclose their status to dispatchers if they need emergency services while quarantining or isolating.
In Killeen, residents are urged to use 9-1-1 only for true emergencies. Killeen residents can call 254-501-7660 for non-emergency fire/EMS service, and they can call 254-501-8800 for non-emergency police service, city spokeswoman Hilary Shine said via email.
Shine said that requesting service from the non-emergency numbers will help prevent potential exposure of first responders.
“If calling for emergency response is necessary, confirmed or presumed contagious conditions should be fully disclosed,” Shine said via email. “Callers may be asked for additional information to determine the appropriate response.”
Michael Harmon, Bell County’s emergency management coordinator and communications center director, echoed Shine’s sentiments Thursday.
“This will help protect the first responders as well as anyone that may be in the vicinity or at the receiving facility,” Harmon said via email.
The same practice is being urged by Coryell County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Harrell.
Harrell said that anyone who tests positive, is awaiting test results or has symptoms consistent with the coronavirus and is isolating or quarantining should disclose that information to the dispatcher if emergency services are required.
Disclosure of the information will allow emergency personnel to take necessary precautions when responding, Harrell said.
Along with similar recommendations as Killeen and Coryell County, Harmon said its dispatchers receive assistance from the county public health district.
The county dispatch office receives the addresses of individuals who have tested positive for the virus.
“Between the information we are able to gather from the calling party as well as the information from the health department we are able to protect the first responders and health care staff as much as possible,” Harmon said via email Thursday.