New Year's resolutions for local first responders

ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - Whether it's to lose weight, save money, or get that promotion, many people use the new year as an incentive to get started on their goals. 

Even our local first responders have New Year's resolutions and last year, the Horseheads Volunteer Fire Department had a goal of raising cancer awareness in firefighters. For the last last 12 months, it reached that goal by implementing decontamination kits. 

"They're used at the scene after a fire so you decontaminate the carcinogens off you and don't bring them back to the fire station or to your home," Chief Arthur Sullivan said.

The kit includes wipes specifically formulated for first responders, a garden hose to rinse off, a brush and soap to clean your gear, and garbage bags to put your gean in so the lingering toxins are not inhaled before being thrown into the washing machine.

Over at the West Elmira Police Department, it plans to change some of its rules, policies, and procedures. 

"My guys are going to have be double-gloving for most medical calls now because of the fentanyl that is around and the carfentanil which just a grain of that can knock you down," Chief Peter Michalko said. 

There was a report of an Ohio officer who brushed these drugs off his uniform with his fingers and the skin contact alone reportedly caused him to overdose and pass out. Putting on two layers of gloves adds more protection.

Also, because the Chemung River runs the department's entire southern jurisdictional boundary, all three marked vehicles are now equipped with river rescue bags with a floatation device, throw bag, and other life saving tools. 

Both departments believe these new ideas will help keep the community even more safe. 


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