In September a 2020 Fire Protection Technician was identified by NSW Health as a close contact of a COVID case at Eastern Suburbs Legion Club in Waverley on the weekend prior. Immediately this was known, the staff member was instructed to stop work, isolate at home and sent for testing.
The COVID test subsequently showed them to be positive. We followed NSW Health’s lead and urgently traced all 15 locations the Technician had been in the relevant prior days. As you would expect of a top-tier fire safety provider, all our jobs are logged in advance, including location, building locations visited, technicians that attend and times of attendance. This makes contact tracing much more achievable and rapid.
All known persons have been phoned by NSW Health including other staff who were sent for testing and/or self-isolation as determined by the authority.
We’re proud to confirm that the Technician who tested positive was following the procedures set out in our COVID Safe Plan. Whilst due to this – the risk to others was low; we immediately made it our top priority to co-operate with NSW Health in all matters. We also personally communicated with our clients in locations that the Technician had visited in the relevant period.
We are pleased to confirm that as a result of the detailed procedures that we created, and the professionalism of our whole team, no virus was spread by the 2020 Fire Technician. No clients at the locations he visited caught the virus as a result of his presence. Moreover, no other 2020 Fire staff caught COVID.
So what did we learn from this? We learned that we are following our procedures, and that they work. We remain confident and dedicated that we can continue to provide our essential services to keep people safe – not just from fire!
For over ten years we have recruited, trained and rewarded a team of mature professionals. We all take our roles seriously, as we are an essential service and lives depend on us. We have never aimed to match prices with the cowboys in our industry, because great staff are not cheap. During this pandemic, we have never been busier. We like to think that one of the reasons for that is the trust and reputation we have earned the hard way. We see this episode as yet more proof of why people need to avoid the cowboys in our industry.
“There are thousands of organisations around Australia all operating whilst claiming to have COVID safe procedures in place. It is natural to ask – how seriously are the staff taking it? Can you stop transmission? We’re proud of our team when we say – yes.” Rob Broadhead, Founder & CEO, 2020 Fire Protection.
Here’s our procedure.
- Must have hand sanitiser and disposable gloves available.
- Must avoid/ minimise touching face with or without gloves on.
- Must use hand sanitiser between unit inspections and between sites.
- Technicians must not work together if possible and must practice social distancing if required. Where possible it should be the same teams together with no cross-over.
- Good practice is to wipe down panels and equipment touched after use.
- Shaking hands or physical contact with all persons to be avoided.
- Stay up to date with: https://www.health.gov.au/news/healthalerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert
- If you have travelled overseas, you must self-isolate for 14 days.
- If you have been in contact with anyone who has been in contact with someone exposed to COVID-19, you must inform your manager immediately and potentially self-isolate. Office and communication:
- Attendance and use of facilities at the office should be minimised.
- If access to office is required, avoid all contact with other workmates and Technicians are not to enter the office upstairs.
- Maintain social interaction via phone, facetime, zoom meetings and Microsoft Teams. Video calls preferred wherever possible to increase the personal nature of the communication.
For Unit Inspections:
- A face mask must be worn into units.
- Ask the following questions before entering every unit:
o Are you in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19?
o Have you been knowingly exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
o Are you feeling unwell today?
- If a unit occupant looks sick or answers yes to any of the above questions, you should not enter or touch anything – report it as “no access- occupant unwell (or similar reason)”.
- Remain more than 1.5 metres from any unit occupant- request this of them if concerned. Do not put yourself or others at risk!
- Fire doors and smoke alarms are to be tested as normal; however, touching of surfaces should be minimised and hand sanitiser used after each unit.
If you would like to learn more about our procedures, or fire safety for your building, please don’t hesitate to contact us.