What It Takes to Be a Paramedic During the Coronavirus Crisis

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First responders working through the COVID-19 pandemic are facing unprecedented challenges as the U.S. grapples with nearly 500,000 confirmed cases of the deadly virus. 

Inside Edition was there as paramedics in Manchester, Connecticut worked a shift amid the coronavirus crisis. Andrew Hedberg and Kyle Caldwell have given everything they have to saving as many lives as possible and have put themselves in harm’s way in the process. 

“I have a newborn at home right now, so that’s a little stressful,” Caldwell told Inside Edition. Caldwell, Hedberg and all their team members begin the day by checking their temperatures. And then they demonstrated how they spring into action when a call comes in, including when they received details from a dispatcher that a person is having difficulty breathing. 

“It will be a hot response,” the dispatcher advised, noting “respiratory precautions” would be needed to be taken. In these dangerous times, paramedics can’t rush into a house as they normally would, they noted, telling Inside Edition that when possible, they ask a patient to come to the front door. 

From there, they keep a safe distance while gathering information. If an emergency is coronavirus-related, they meticulously suit up in protective gear and transport the person to a local hospital.

"After every call we decontaminate our ambulance, starting with our stretcher,” they said. “We spray it down with disinfectant spray."

After that, the crew heads back to base to prepare for their next call, which in times like this, is never far off.

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