Kanawha County volunteer fire department back in service in less than 24 hours after member test positive for COVID-19

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KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – One volunteer fire department in Kanawha County has resumed operation in less than 24 hours after temporarily shutting down when one of its members tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

The Cabin Creek assistant fire chief requested the department be taken out of service until all staff could be tested and the station sanitized.

Kanawha County Homeland Security and Emergency Management (KCEM) asked the East Bank Volunteer Fire Department to handle Cabin Creek’s calls for the time being.

Officials say it was an excellent display of teamwork.

KCEM Fire Coordinator, CW Sigman said, “pretty much for every serious fire Cabin Creek has, East Bank assists and every fire East Bank has, depending on where it’s at, could be Cabin Creek, Belle, Chesapeake or Pratt… will come to each other’s aide.”

Wednesday morning the West Virginia National Guard used a hydrogen peroxide solution to fumigate the station which took about three hours to complete.

Sgt. Ronald Franklin helped sanitize the station and said, “[first responders are] typically the ones that are going to be out there dealing with COVID-19, like EMT’s, so we want to make sure they’re safe so they can continue to do their job helping people.”

County officials say Cabin Creek did the right thing by notifying them and islating its members.

“The big takeaway is have a plan, we had a plan, we prepared to exercise that plan, which we did and let’s do everything we can to prevent from using the plan to keep us working,” said Sigman.

The members that were exposed to the individual that tested positive have been tested and are quarantining until they receive their results. Members not exposed can go back to serving their community.

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