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San Antonio emergency personnel prepared for Ebola patients

SAN ANTONIO – As the fallout continues in Dallas over the handling of the first confirmed case of Ebola in the United States, San Antonio first responders said they are ready for any potential cases in the Alamo City.

"We've been working with our EMTs and paramedics on educating them on personal protection equipment they should wear should they have a possible Ebola patient," said Dr. Emily Kidd, interim medical director of the San Antonio Fire Department. "Really just working with them to assure they understand what they should be wearing to protect themselves and how they should be notifying hospitals."

Kidd said their efforts started well before this week's case in Dallas. The SAFD has worked closely with MetroHealth as well as the Department of State Health Services.

"To make sure we're on the same page for how we are notified of a patient, how we recognize potential patients, how our medics and responders protect themselves and basically what the response is going to be," she said.  

Dispatchers are now trained to ask callers if they've travelled recently to West Africa if they show similar symptoms to Ebola. While those symptoms can often be vague, potential Ebola patients will not receive specific treatments in the field. 

"We'll still treat that patient just like any other patient," said Kidd. "We wouldn't change protocol or anything like that."

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