Pandemic Protocols Bring Ogden Deputy Fire Chief to Nationwide Honor | News, sports, jobs
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Ogden Fire Deputy Chief Mike Slater was recently named Paramedic of the Year in Utah.
OGDEN – When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Mike Slater had just been promoted to deputy chief of Ogden Fire Department in charge of medical operations.
He joked in an interview this week that if he had known the pandemic was coming, he might have decided not to agree to the new job.
But Slater’s achievements since then in helping the community fight the virus have earned him Utah Medic of the Year recognition from the Utah Division of Emergency Management.
43-year-old Slater, a 23-year-old Ogden Fire Department veteran, said he had developed guidelines to help keep firefighters safe, including: B. the use of rapid antigen tests and personal protective equipment. These guidelines were adopted by agencies around Weber County.
Later in 2020, Slater led the work of the fire department to help Weber-Morgan Health Department vaccinate thousands of people against the coronavirus.
The state award “was kind of a surprise to me,” said Slater, “because, to be honest, I’m sitting behind a desk. I haven’t treated any patients for a long time. “
However, a coordinated response to first aiders was crucial as it soon became apparent that firefighters, police officers and others were too exposed to the virus, putting them and the public at risk.
Thirty percent of the Ogden Fire Department suffered COVID-19 infections. “Our job is difficult and unique because you can’t work from home,” he said. Testing and better use of PPE helped keep the outbreak “from spreading to the department”.
“I think it kept the fire department working,” said Slater. “It kept us responding and kept us from passing it on to the community.”
Ogden’s paramedics and advanced EMTs worked many shifts in the Department of Health’s vaccination pods, Slater said, adding that 90% of the department’s staff are vaccinated and the COVID-19 infection rate has dropped to 2%.
“Ogden City Fire and Mike Slater in particular were instrumental in our mass clinics,” said Lori Buttars, Weber-Morgan Health Department spokeswoman. “They were also very popular as a vaccination stop in the clinics.”
Slater’s career included positions as a paramedic, paramedic, fire chief, dangerous goods team leader, battalion chief and his current role. He also spent time as a tactical medic on the Ogden Metro SWAT team.
He said the department’s medical staff continue to look for ways to improve on-site patient care, coordination with hospitals, and better track of advances in equipment and technology.
Ambulance teams are just as burdened with dealing with the pandemic as hospital staff, said Slater. This includes increased workloads and additional chores like moving patients looking for a bed in another ward when local hospitals overflow.
“Our staff is fine, but I think people are tired,” he said. “Firefighters don’t want COVID, they don’t want patients to have it, and they don’t want to bring it home to their families.”
He urged the public to take COVID-19 seriously and thereby help everyone in the community.
Regarding field first responders, Slater said, “I would have given the award to any one of them. You answered the call. The credit really goes to the local people. “
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