Prank Ebola Call in Chicago Raises Concerns Among Firefighters

Chicago Firefighters have some concerns over the N95 Masks they carry on their rigs.  They say the members of the Chicago Fire Department have not been fit tested into these masks.

NBC 5 Chicago – A call to the Chicago Fire Department about a potential Ebola case in downtown Chicago turned out to be a prank, officials say, but it exposed a very real problem as some first responders say they are not confident in their equipment if a legitimate Ebola emergency should happen in Chicago, NBC 5 Investigates has learned.

The Level One Hazmat call came out just before 9 p.m. Thursday night. First responders thought they were responding to a patient with Ebola and suited up.  

Some of the responders wore disposable N95 respirator masks, but most used military-style, full face masks, called Millenniums.

“They hadn’t been fit tested for the N95, so by putting on the Millennium they thought they would have a better fit,” said Paramedic Field Chief Patrick Fitzmaurice.  A prior NBC 5 Investigation revealed that Chicago Fire Department first responders have never been fit tested for their N95 respirator masks, despite OSHA requirements. Chicago fire officials now say all employees will go through fit testing – starting next week with paramedics first…Continue Reading Here


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