Minnesota fire department suspends first response services due to lack of PPE

The Stewartville Fire Department says it will still respond to fires, crashes and specialized rescue missions.
Author:
Publish date:

A fire department in southeast Minnesota has said it's suspending its Emergency Medical Services due to a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The announced was made last week by the Stewartville Fire Department, describing it as an "extremely difficult decision."

After guidance from several regional and state boards, the fire department said it will temporarily suspend its medical first responder operations partly because there's not enough PPE "to appropriately protect the community and ourselves at this time."

"Despite our repeated requests, this equipment is currently being triaged to hospitals and ambulance services to provide the maximum benefit," it said. 

The department notes that it's the only fire service provider for Stewartville and the surrounding townships, and that it will still respond to reports of fires, vehicle crashes, and "specialized rescue missions."

For local residents, the fire department says "DO NOT PANIC!" and to call 911 in the event of an emergency, as ambulances, police and fire services will still be dispatched depending on the specific emergency.

"The SFD Executive board and City Administration will continuously monitor the situation," it said. "First response services will resume as soon as safely possibly."

It comes amid a statewide and nationwide shortage of PPE, with the Minnesota Department of Health saying Sunday that it was down to 1 week's supply of medical gowns, while its supply of other PPE was only good for another 2-6 weeks pending future PPE deliveries.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 9.55.05 PM

Small plane lands on northbound I-35W in Twin Cities

A large police presence is at the scene.

Plainview

Judge orders Minnesota gym that defied shutdown to close

Attorney General Keith Ellison sued the gym after it remained open.

montana cutbank

Charges: Man shot victim 'without provocation' using sawed-off shotgun

The incident happened on Nov. 24 in Ten Lake Township, located in Beltrami County.

Governor Tim Walz

Watch live: Walz, first responders address Minnesotans

Some departments have been forced to shift staffing or suspend service due to COVID-19.

covid-19, coronavirus

CDC says COVID-19 quarantine period can be cut to 10 or 7 days

You can come out of a 7-day quarantine following exposure provided you've had a negative test.

maple grove fire

1 person found dead inside Maple Grove business that burned down

A person had been unaccounted following the fire that destroyed Hanson Implement and Storage Tuesday night.

One-dollar bill, cash, money

Appeals court rules MN high school students can get unemployment benefits

They've been denied the benefits, and some were even asked to pay them back.

covid-19, coronavirus

Dec. 2 COVID-19 update: 77 more deaths in Minnesota

The death toll is closing in on 3,700 in Minnesota.

City Pages

Fan creates City Pages archive, Star Tribune tells him to remove it

After word spread that the defunct newspaper's website would go down, a fan created his own copy. Then he got a cease and desist letter.

Adam Thielen

Vikings activate Adam Thielen off COVID-19/reserve list

The star receiver missed last week's victory over Carolina.

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 10.27.14 AM

Naked man shot by St. Paul cop is charged for sexual assault of ex-girlfriend

The 31-year-old suspect remains at Regions Hospital after being shot.

Related

plato fire department

Minnesota fire department won't respond to calls due to COVID-19

The pandemic has impacted staffing at some public safety departments across the state.

Several departments battle fire at country club in Wayzata

The fire has been burning for most of the morning.

PPE, coronavirus, covid-19

Health department down to 1 week supply of gowns, low on other PPE

The shortage comes as Minnesota is competing with other states for PPE supplies.

Jan Malcolm, Minnesota Department of Health

MN officials frustrated by lack of COVID-19 supplies from federal government

Minnesota is still dealing with a shortage of testing kits and PPE.

Stunning response to fire department's plea to help displaced family

The McQuillan family lost everything in a house blaze.

Screen Shot 2020-04-06 at 12.32.44 PM

Hopkins police, fire departments offer birthday parades to kids stuck at home

They hope it'll soften the blow for kids who are unable to have parties.

Fire destroys the only grocery store in Cook, Minnesota

Six fire departments were on the scene to contain the fire.

Ultimate Sports Bar

Crews at scene of major fire at Waite Park sports bar

The fire broke out shortly before 9 a.m.