From Data to Information to Action During COVID-19

From Data to Information to Action During COVID-19

Portfolio Description
  • 1
  • October 15, 2020

Fire District 3 in Jackson County, Oregon, rapidly implemented new programs, policies, and technology to keep residents and first responders safe when COVID-19 arrived

Like communities across the country, Jackson County, Oregon was bracing for coronavirus. Although a largely rural community, the county is bisected by Interstate 5 and sits almost exactly halfway between San Francisco and Seattle, two early hotspots for the pandemic. Fire District 3 personnel provide both BLS and ALS rst response to an area with approximately 54,000 residents and work closely with the other re departments and EMS services in the county.

Chief Robert Horton arrived in southern Oregon in 2017 after spending his entire career with the Las Vegas Fire Department, most recently as assistant chief for EMS. Now he was facing potentially his biggest challenge of his two decades in the re service. Chief Horton knew that tackling the COVID-19 outbreak would require a methodical, data-driven approach.

The Need
Even before the term COVID-19 had been coined, Chief Horton had discussed the need for better surveillance of the 911 and EMS systems in Jackson County. Early on in his tenure, in a conversation with a member of the county health department, he discovered that while the county conducted surveillance of emergency departments, it did not regularly monitor data from the county’s consolidated 911 center or re and EMS response agencies.

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