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Police and Fire Chiefs Ask Public For COVID-19 Heads-Up



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The chiefs of Fresno’s police and fire departments reassured the public they are ready and able to respond to emergency needs Thursday afternoon.
But Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis is asking for the public’s help to warn first responders if they have COVID-19 symptoms when calling for service.
“We are on the front lines of this virus. It is a much higher likelihood that our firefighters or police officers are at higher risk of being exposed,” Donis said at a City Hall news conference. “But we are a dedicated public safety profession and we will continue to respond to serve our community.”
Donis specifically asked for a heads-up if the person calling for service has a fever, rash, or has recently traveled out of the country.

Police and Fire On-Call as Usual

Both Donis and Fresno Police Chief Andrew Hall said they will respond to calls for service as usual.
“When we signed up for this job, we raised our hand and we swore an oath to serve this community,” Hall said. “And I am here to tell you, we will honor that commitment.”
Hall reiterated that there will be dispatchers answering phones, and officers on patrol.
“We will not abandon the community during a time of crisis,” Hall said.
Donis issued a similar message regarding the fire department.

Police Taking Precautions

Hall said only seven of his approximately 800 officers are home with medical issues. He did not specify if any were coronavirus-related.
The police department has closed its counter service.

No Time Limit to End

Mayor Lee Brand could not give specifics of when the COVID-19 state of emergency might end. The city council approved the emergency order Monday.
“I can’t see any specific factors. It is primarily will depend on the stage of this virus,” Brand said.
Among those factors will be the number of cases, but said there was no magic number of when to lift the ordinance.

Compliance with Shelter-in-Place

On Wednesday, the city issued a voluntary order for people to shelter-in-place. The same order, though, mandated businesses deemed non-essential to close.
The shelter-in-place order lasts through March 31 but could be extended.
Brand said most residents are complying. They are also “flooding” the city with phone calls, seeking clarification of the order.
“We are all in this together,” Brand said. “Please stay calm and join us in stopping the coronavirus.”

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email