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Local first responders who can’t work from home take other safety precautions

Posted at 5:42 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 00:04:07-04

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s a time of uncertainty. Restaurants, bars, schools and many more businesses are being forced to close. Many businesses are having people work from home. Each day, we learn more about COVID-19 and how the attempt to flatten the curve is temporarily changing people’s lives.

While many are adjusting to working at home, others don’t have that option. Unified Police Officer Brady Robinson is one of those people whose job can’t be done from the kitchen table. While some in the department can work remotely, those who respond to the call for help cannot.

“The unfortunate thing is because of the nature of our work a lot of those things require in person contact,” Unified Police Sgt. Melody Gray said.

Steps are being taken to protect officers, Sgt. Gray said. Many non-emergency cases are being handled by officers over the phone, officers are not driving together, and officers are given gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes. They are working to practice social distancing in every way possible, Gray said.

Officer Robinson isn’t letting COVID-19 slow him down, or keep him from protecting his community, he said.

“I can’t let that cause an additional concern. I already have a job that has many, many risks so that’s just not something that pops into my mind,” he said.

That doesn’t mean he isn’t taking every precaution possible.

“I’ve got hand sanitizer in both doors so that I don’t forget. So anytime I go out on a call or get back from a call or get gas or whatever I’m constantly cleaning my hands with that,” he said.

The precautions aren’t just for himself.

“The area we have to place to people is in this small claustrophobic cage here, so I just try to make sure that the surfaces are wiped down and we are not assisting someone who might be infected transmit the disease,” he said.

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