TYLER (KYTX) - The CDC is constantly learning more about the illness. And as a result the guidelines often evolve. To keep up with the current guidelines, tonight east Texas first responders are learning what and what not to do. CBS 19's Katiera Winfrey explains how EMS and paramedics could be the first to come in contact with a person infected with Ebola and that could changes some rules.
In east Texas, there's been a daily effort to evaluate every aspect of first response in light of the Ebola cases in Dallas. In some cases that means tweaking and even re-thinking their procedures and protocols.
"This is a scare that we have to be prepared for and this training will do that," said firefighter Arla Phelps.
When it comes to the Ebola threat, the doctors, nurses, ems workers and firefighters we look to, to keep us well are often the most at risk.
What they get on scene of a potential Ebola case, lays the foundation on keeping the illness from spreading. But knowing what to do requires training.
"It's more of how to protect the fire fighters the first responders because a lot of time we're the first on the scene. and what to do for ems when they get there so we can relay the threat," said ETMC general manager Neal Franklin.
About fifty first responders across Smith County came together for learn more about the Ebola operational plan. ETMC representatives broke down the plan.
"We want people to understand that we have it we have it together we feel confident in it," said Franklin.
The goal of this course is to make sure responders across the area are on the same page of understanding how to assess a case.
-Does the patient have a fever of 101.5 or higher with headache muscle pain, nausea.
-In the past 21 days have they been to any of the west Africa countries affected
-Have they had contact with the blood or bodily fluid of someone with Ebola
From there the need to put on protective gear is decided.
"Especially when you take it off we want to make sure you take it off carefully and correctly and you may have contamination on it," said Franklin.
The gear first responders wear isn't as cumbersome as doctors or nurses would wear in a hospital, but it's equally important.
"We have a lot of fear our there and we're trying to subdue that fear."
Now that flu season is here, medical workers are expected to be more on guard. The symptoms of the flu can be similar to Ebola symptoms.if you notice you have a high temperature, with headaches, nausea or vomiting, keep yourself isolated and call for medical help.