LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- There is a shortage of N95 masks at fire stations in Lane County and Coburg.
Batallion Chief Mike Caven with Eugene Springfield Fire said these specific masks are the highest level of protection when dealing with coronavirus cases or suspected ones.
"We are having to take steps with our members and the community to preserve the resources we have," Caven said.
Caven said the department still sends the same number of vehicles on medical calls. However, not everybody on scene gets close to the patient.
They're also asking that you meet first responders outside if you're able to. That way they can assess you in a safer environment which uses less personal protective equipment.
Meanwhile, dispatchers play an important role too.
"We are going to go ahead and ask those additional questions, document that information and then the dispatcher will let the responders know while they're en route to the call," supervisor for Central Lane 911 Michelle Longworth said.
When people call 911 they are asked to explain their symptoms in detail, and whether they've traveled outside of Lane County in the past two weeks or if anyone close to them has been exposed to the virus.
"We are here throughout this regardless of what our situation is we will be there for the public so we need them to be there for us and follow those instructions and help us better help them and help those who are sick in the community," Caven said.
Coburg Fire, Lane Fire Authority and Eugene Springfield Fire are all asking the public to only call dispatch for serious matters, practice social distancing and follow their instructions so that they can save their resources for those who need it the most.