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Coronavirus In Pittsburgh: Firefighters Say Not Enough Is Being Done To Protect Them And Public During Outbreak

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The head of a local union is concerned that not enough is being done to protect firefighters and the public during the coronavirus outbreak.

Ralph Sicuro, president of the International Association of Firefighters Pittsburgh Local 1, says they are already seeing how fast the virus can spread.

Sicuro tells KDKA additional protective gear was given out like masks and gowns, but the firefighters do not feel it is enough protection.

Now Sicuro and others are calling on state officials to provide firefighters with the information to protect the first responders.

"Anybody's concern is that their job would put them in contact with potential patients or potentially infected patients with the (coronavirus)," Sicuro said.

The city's first responders are calling on the state to provide someone within their department the names of patients who tested positive for the coronavirus in Pittsburgh.

"We have 88 communities within the city limits. If one member is exposed in one area, they get a call and go to another area, they are just traveling around exposing more people. They need this information to protect those men and women on the front line."

State leaders tell Sicuro that HIPPA prevents them from sharing that information.

But he believes this is uncharted territory and changes need to be made before the virus continues to spread in Pittsburgh.

"If we can prevent our men and women from being infected or carrying the virus to their homes or out to the general public, that is something we desperately need here," Sicuro said.

Sicuro suggests the information be given to a medical director within the department who can control the situation without giving out the information.

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