I’m Mark Puknaitis, Fire Chief for the City of Naperville.
I’d like to speak to you today about the City’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak and some changes we’ve made at the Fire Department that allow us to continue providing fire and EMS services to the community while also safeguarding our employees’ health at the same time.
Throughout our response to this pandemic, the City’s goal is to continue delivering critical city services. We know residents rely on the City for their water, their electric, and their safety, among other things. That’s not going to change. We’ve just modified our delivery methods slightly.
For example, we may respond to your emergency wearing personal protective equipment like masks and gloves. Don’t be alarmed by this. It’s just a precaution to safeguard our employees’ health so they can continue serving the community during this pandemic.
We’re also taking measures internally to make sure our personnel remain healthy and able to perform the outstanding work that you have come to expect.
Rest assured that even in light of this situation that we’re dealing with, your fire and medical emergency services will continue to be seamless.
There are also things we ask you to do to help out during this time.
First, please only call 9-1-1 in an emergency. If you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms or you think you might have contracted COVID-19, your first step should be to call your doctor.
If you do call 9-1-1 for an emergency, please tell our dispatchers if you or someone with you has flu-like symptoms. This will help our personnel be more prepared and protected when responding to your location.
Finally, keep following the guidelines that have been issued by health professionals to help slow the spread of COVID-19. That includes:
- Keeping your distance from others
- Avoiding crowds or groups of people
- Staying home as often as possible, especially when you’re sick
- Working from home if that’s an option
- Washing your hands often and
- Disinfecting commonly touched surfaces regularly
By following these guidelines, looking out for each other, and working together (while keeping six feet apart, of course), I’m confident that we can slow the spread of COVID-19 in Naperville and successfully weather this pandemic.
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