AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – School nurses in Agawam will have extra help from paramedics at the Agawam Fire Department.
The Massachusetts school reopening guidelines require an isolation space available for students or staff that may show symptoms of COVID-19 while in school. The isolation space should be staffed by a medical professional. Due to the high demand of registered nurses, there was a need to provide staffing for the Agawam Health Department.
According to a news release sent to 22News from the Agawam Fire Department, a plan developed to have paramedics work with school nurses. The paramedics assigned to the school shifts are considered “extra duty” meaning none of the Fire Department personnel assigned to staff the town’s fire engines and ambulances are assigned to the schools.
“This isn’t the kind of work our Paramedics are typically performing, but they are all highly skilled and fully capable of performing these duties. This type of cooperation speaks volumes of the dedication and flexibility of our town’s Paramedics.”Chief Sirois
“The Agawam Fire Department continues to partner with the school department to ensure the safety and well-being of our students and staff. This on-going collaboration allows our district not only to move forward during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also provides our administrators with confidence that highly-skilled and capable Paramedics are on the premises to address any medical situation that may arise. This support is greatly appreciated, and the dedication of these Paramedics should be recognized.”Interim School Superintendent Sheila Hoffman
“I would like to thank Agawam Fire Chief, Alan Sirois and Health Director, Kathleen Auer for going above and beyond to find a temporary solution that benefits our community a great deal.”Mayor William Sapelli