Posted by The Huron Hub on Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Everette Robbins, Huron Township director of public safety, released the following message to the community Tuesday afternoon that lays out the department’s updated procedures and response during the COVID-19 situation.
As we all well know by now, we are facing unprecedented times as global fears continue to rise regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic.
I thought it would be important, and hopefully reassuring, for the residents and business owners to know that our public safety department remains committed to serving the community during this time of great uncertainty. While we do not want to overreact or create panic, we feel it is important to put procedures in place that balance the need for our first responders to serve the public with the need for us to keep them healthy so they can continue to perform their duties. With that delicate balance being kept in mind, the following operational changes that may affect the way services are delivered will be enacted for the immediate future:
Public Safety buildings, including both the police and fire departments, will be closed to the public. The facilities have been cleaned and disinfected for the safety of our employees. The records department is closed to in-person contact, but emergency requests and FOIA’s can still be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The records department can also be contacted by telephone at 734-753-4400, ext. 128 or 123. The community is further asked to call the Huron Township Dispatch Center to request a non-emergency police response. No non-emergency in-station complaints will be taken at the Police Department facility.
Huron Township Police Officers have been instructed to avoid entering residences in non-emergency situations for the safety of both the resident, as well as themselves. Non-emergency reports will still be taken in the normal fashion, but the reporting party will be asked to give the necessary report information outside of the residence. Officers have also been instructed NOT to enter residences on non-life-threatening medical calls unless requested to do so by responding medical personnel.
Huron Township Fire Personnel will begin following a recently updated Health Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) protocol as it relates to non-emergency medical responses that include patients screened positive for COVID-19. The protocol recommends that ONLY the transporting unit respond directly to the location of the call for service as long as the units estimated time of arrival is less than 30 minutes. Back-up paramedics and police units will also respond within close proximity to the call location so they can be activated to assist if needed but will not respond directly to the location. Again, this is for non-life-threatening medical calls ONLY. There is no change to the way emergency and life-threatening calls for service will be delivered. Patient care is always our number one priority.
Huron Township Dispatch Staff will ask the following questions on ALL incoming calls for service:
Does the patient have respiratory symptoms (cough or shortness of breath) or fever?
Has the patient traveled out of the country or been in close contact with a person known to have 2019-nCoV illness within the 14 days before symptom onset?
We realize that this may be inconvenient for callers, but the intent is to provide our first responders with all of the pertinent information that can be made available to assist them with responding in a safe manner.
I want to assure the community that your public safety team is committed to keeping the community informed, educated, and most importantly safe. We are meeting daily to discuss changes in this fluid and ever-changing situation. I also want to assure our residents and business owners that Huron Township First Responders are doing all we can to provide you with the quality of service we hope you have come to expect from us.
On a personal note, I want to ask the community to keep our local businesses in your thoughts and hope that we can all support them during this difficult time for them. I also want to thank the Summit Academy and Huron School Districts for donating cleaning and disinfecting supplies to our first responders at a time in which those supplies are scarce. As both your Director of Public Safety, as well as a resident of this community, I am extremely proud of the way Huron Township community has represented itself during these uncertain times. There is no doubt in my mind that we will get through this together, and when we do, we will be stronger and safer than ever before.
Lastly, I want to assure the public that every decision that we make is made with the safety of both our community as well as our first responders in mind. I respectfully ask residents who are unhappy with the way service is delivered during this difficult time to direct their frustration to me instead of the first responder staff. Decisions to change the delivery of service are made by me and the staff are just following my direction. I have not heard a single complaint from our first responder staff about their role in keeping the community safe during this period. I thank each of them and their families for unselfishly putting themselves on the front line. As always, I am happy to speak to any resident at any time. Your concerns, thoughts, and ideas are welcomed. Please feel free to contact me by email at email@example.com or by telephone at 734-753-4400.