Details for A3

THE MISSOURIAN

WWW.EMISSOURIAN.COM

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11, 2020

Police Preparing
For Coronavirus

3A

n Taking Precautions, No Panic

By Joe Barker

Assistant Managing Editor

New
signs
were
hung in the lobby at the
Washington Police Department last week.
The signs provide
instructions on proper
handwashing technique
and guidance on how to
avoid the flu. The signs
are, in part, related to
the ongoing coronavirus
(COVID-19) outbreak.
Missouri Gov. Mike
Parson announced Saturday the first confirmed
case in the state. A St.
Louis County woman
who had been studying
abroad was diagnosed
with coronavirus.
The highly contagious
disease has been spreading around the world in
recent months. The disease, characterized by
flu-like symptoms, has
caused many officials
to spring into action to
combat the spread.
Washington
Police
Chief Ed Menefee said

the city’s stance, with
no confirmed cases in
the county, is preparation. The goal is to avoid
panic.
Detective Sgt. Steve
Sitzes said officers have
been briefed on the disease. Officers interact
with the public on a daily basis and have been
instructed on how to
handle infected people.
“Just general precautions,” Sitzes said.
“We’re not stockpiling
anything.”
Police said the coronavirus is really no different than the flu — at
least as far as officers
are concerned. Officers
are trained regularly
with how to handle sick
members of the community.
“They put out guidelines — and it’s the
same as flu,” Menefee
said. “Wash your hands,
wash your hands, wash
your hands.”
Officers handle drugs
and other dangerous

items on a regular basis.
Officers regularly wear
gloves. Precaution is
key, police said.
“We always have
(hand sanitizer),” Sitzes
said. “We always deal
with people who have
tuberculosis, hepatitis.”
Menefee said preparation goes both ways.
Officers who feel sick
are instructed to stay
home. He said the department’s policy is anyone with a temperature
is not allowed to work.
“The best thing, if you
have a fever, is to stay
home,” he said. “We do
have a policy you don’t
come into work if you
have a fever.”
Information and resources about coronavirus can be found online.
The city’s Emergency
Management
Agency
page is regularly posting links and updates
about the disease.
The page is located at
Facebook.com/washmoema.

County Will Subsidize
Radio Programming
n For Emergency Services

By Monte Miller

Missourian Staff Writer

As part of the ongoing 911 upgrades in Franklin County, including the near completion of a new
911 dispatching center in Union,
radio equipment at many emergency
agencies will need to be upgraded as
well.
To offset some of those costs, the
Franklin County Commission on
Tuesday approved an order to reimburse the departments for which
they provide dispatching services
$1,000 each.
The total reimbursements will total $17,000 since the county provides
services for 17 law enforcement, fire
and EMS agencies.
County 911 Coordinator Abe Cook
says the reprogramming will not be
done by the county, but by third parties of the individual agencies’ choosing.
The reprogramming will be necessary for all radios installed in fire
trucks, ambulances and squad cars,
as well as any and all handheld radios used by the agencies.
Many alerting pagers used by fire
departments also will need to be
looked at and most reprogrammed.
Cook said he was unsure of the
amount of equipment in the possession of each individual agency, but
used Union EMS as an example with
25 radios.
There is also no specific time line
for the reprogramming to be completed.
Commission Order
The commission order passed
Tuesday states due to upgrades and
changes in the county’s radio communications and dispatching services, certain radio equipment of these
emergency services providers require
reprogramming in order to continue
to maintaining their ability to com-

municate with the county.
The county commission deems it to
be in the best interest of the public
at large, as well as the residents and
visitors who may have need of the
services of these emergency service
providers, to assist with a portion of
the reprogramming costs.
Upon receipt of an itemized statement from the emergency service
providers, which lists the reprogramming costs incurred, as well as
the name and address of the vendor
who provided such reprogramming,
Franklin County will reimburse
each emergency service provider up
to $1,000 of the reprogramming cost
incurred.
Emergency Services
Fire agencies affected include six
fire protection districts, including
Union, Boles, New Haven-Berger,
Beaufort-Leslie, St. Clair and Sullivan.
Five EMS services, including New
Haven, Washington, Union, Gerald,
and St. Clair Ambulance, also are affected.
In addition to the Franklin County
Sheriff ’s Office, the municipal police
departments in Berger, New Haven,
Union, Gerald and St. Clair also are
dispatched by Franklin County.
Overall, Franklin County receives
just under $100,000 for dispatching
services from local municipalities
and emergency agencies each year.
The cities of Union and St. Clair,
along with Washington, St. Clair and
Union EMS, and the Boles and Union
fire protection districts pay Franklin
County $10,000 each for annual dispatching services.
Beaufort-Leslie Fire Protection
District, Gerald EMS and New Haven EMS, and the cities of New Haven
and Gerald pay $5,000 per year for
dispatching. The New Haven-Berger
Fire District pays $4,600 per year to
Franklin County.

We know:

Coronavirus Testing
Franklin County officials have confirmed three people have been tested
for coronavirus in Franklin County since the beginning of March. One test
came back negative and the other two results are still pending. Specific
testing kits like the one shown here are being used and sent to the Missouri State Health Lab for analysis, but testing can be done with nasal
swabs and supplies commonly found in medical facilities. 	Missourian Photo.

2020 Democratic Party
Delegate Selection
All
Democrats
in
Franklin County interested in participating in the
delegate selection process
should gather Monday,
April 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the
Franklin County Government Center, located at
400 E. Locust St., Union.
The April 6 meeting is
the first level of a multitiered delegate selection
process in Missouri.
It will eventually lead
to the selection of Democratic delegates and alternates to the Democratic
National
Convention,
which will be held July
13-16 in Milwaukee, Wis.
People elected April 6,
will attend the Congres-

sional District Convention
April 30, and have the opportunity to be elected as
a Congressional District
national delegate or alternate.
They will also be able
to attend the Missouri
State Democratic Convention June 20.
Delegates and alternates will be allocated to
presidential candidates to
accurately reflect the expressed presidential preferences in the March 10
presidential primary.
Participation is open
to all voters who wish
to participate as Democrats; who are residents
and registered voters in

Franklin County; who are
at least 18 years of age by
the general election; who
declare themselves to be
Democrats; are not members of any other political
party; who have voted in
the March 10 residential
primary; and those who
have submitted Form
MM to the state party
chair either before the
April 6 mass meetings or
following the mass meeting, due by 10 p.m. April
6, 2020.
For further information, contact Franklin
County Central Committee Chair Clyde Voelkerding, 314-580-1455, or
cvoelker13@yahoo.com.

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