Lawrence-area first responders not changing protocol for medical calls right now

photo by: Mackenzie Clark/Journal-World File Photo

In this Journal-World file photo from Nov. 13, 2019, a Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical ambulance drives away after a call at Burcham Park.

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical first responders are currently following the same protocol they normally do, Tom Fagan, division chief of administration, said Thursday.

As concerns of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, spread, Fagan told the Journal-World that LDCFM’s responders weren’t making any changes at the moment: They normally wear protective gear, such as gloves and, if needed, they wear a mask themselves or ask patients to wear masks.

He also pointed out that it is still flu season, but there is “fear out there.” When medics arrive to a call, they might ask someone whether they would have called 911 if they had the same symptoms six months ago — but “by all means,” they will take people to the hospital if they want to go, he said.

Fagan said LDCFM was working with LMH Health and Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health.

He said the epidemiologists at the health department were staying up to date with the most current information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He would encourage community members to monitor Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health for information on the flu as well as COVID-19, as it will be most accurate and reliable, he said. Most of all, pay attention and take precautions, Fagan said.

The health department is keeping updated information on its webpage at

LDCFM is suspending all public education events and station tours as a precaution, the department said in a Facebook post Thursday morning.

Lawrence police: In ‘constant communication’ with partners

The Lawrence Police Department is “in constant communication with city leaders and our partner agencies to ensure a collaboration of efforts so that we can continue to provide the best service we can in these uncertain times,” Sgt. Amy Rhoads, public affairs officer, said via email Thursday.

She said that safety remained LPD’s highest priority.

For true emergencies, LPD requests that people dial 911; however, for nonemergency police assistance, call dispatch at 785-832-7509, “and we will determine if service can be provided over the phone, or if an officer needs to respond,” she wrote.

“Also, if you encounter one of our officers in the community during the course of their duties, please do not be offended if they do not shake hands or are wearing gloves,” Rhoads wrote. “This is for their safety and yours.”

More coverage: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Find all coverage of city, county and state responses to the virus at:

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