Firefighters in Monroe County’s West End are protecting themselves to ensure they can keep protecting you.

The Polk Township volunteers want you to know they may look a little different when assisting during the pandemic.

Polk Township Firefighters recently posted this picture to their Facebook page showing them wearing a different type of mask than what you may be used to.

Chief Billy Tippett says, "It’s no different than what we do for Fire Prevention for the students and children so that they can see what a firefighter looks like and not be scared of them, that’s what we’re trying to accomplish."

The volunteers want you to know that they’ll still be answering your call for help during the pandemic. But they’re taking extra precautions to ensure their own safety.

Tippett says, "We’re like the last line of defense at this point. If we get sick, if one of us gets sick, especially the company, we could not have a fire company for a period of time so we’re trying to take every measure to keep ourselves healthy."

Besides wearing the respiratory masks to all non-fire emergencies, they’re also being proactive in other ways. They’re disinfecting their trucks, all equipment and anything they could’ve come into contact with after each call. They’re also limiting patient contact if possible and staging members.

Vice President Chad Snyder says, "Maybe you won’t see every truck we own at a small call, we’re going to limit things and just kind of control the amount of people going to things and use people as needed."

You can help them avoid a potential situation by focusing on preventing emergencies. Now is a great time to practice fire safety as everyone is running out of things to do while stuck at home. You can find ideas on Polk Township’s Facebook page.

Snyder says, "Do drills with your kids, look around your house for any potential fire hazards, check your extinguishers, make sure they’re still good. If you don’t have them, start looking for them. Smoke alarms, I know a lot of times to test them when the time changes but test them again."

Polk Township firefighters have either cancelled or postponed all of their events until this crisis calms down. So they’re asking you to please come out and support them once they are rescheduled.