What is it?
The first case of travel-related Zika virus has been confirmed in Brevard County.
Zika, a virus transmitted by mosquitoes, has been identified across Central and South America.
Symptoms of Zika may include: acute onset of low-grade fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis (reddening of eye), body aches, headache, eye pain, and vomiting. Illness typically resolves within a week.
The CDC has advised pregnant women to see their healthcare provider if they develop a fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes within 2 weeks after traveling to a place where Zika has been reported.
What is being done?
Brevard County Fire Rescue Communications Center/Dispatch has implemented a specialized screening process for potential Zika virus exposure patients, similar to what was utilized for the potential Ebola threat.
A Zika Virus Information Hotline has been established for Florida residents and visitors, as well as anyone planning on traveling to Florida in the near future.
The hotline will be managed by the Florida Department of Health, and will answer questions on the Zika virus and the State’s preparedness efforts. The number for the Zika Virus Information Hotline is 855-622-6735.
To find out additional information about Zika, please visit the following websites:
Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
Brevard County Fire Rescue’s Division of EMS is committed in providing citizens with the highest quality of emergency medical service. BCFR operates 29 ambulance/transport units, 19 advanced life support (ALS) fire engines, and 3 ALS ladder trucks. All ambulance/transport units are staffed with two firefighter/paramedics and all ALS engines are staffed with at least one firefighter/paramedic. The department is the sole provider of emergency medical transport for Brevard County.
EMS Quality Assurance
EMS Quality Assurance evaluates all aspects of patient care. These areas include documentation, Advanced and Basic life support skills, assessment and compliance to standing orders. This division ensures that EMS care provided by the department meets approved standards, keeps abreast of changes and advances in the medical community, and continues to provide quality service and promote medical advancements as they occur within Fire EMS.
Vial of Life Program
The Office of EMS is proud to participate in the "Vial of Life" program. When 911 is called, time is crucial. Having vital medical information such as medications, medical history, allergies, and emergency contact information readily available for responders is extremely important. In many instances, patients are unable to speak or are unable to recall information that is critical to rendering appropriate care. A "Vial of Life" speaks for them.
Participation is free. Simply contact the Office of EMS at 321-633-2056 and request a vial which contains a medical information form and a "Vial of Life" sticker. Once the form has been completely filled out, it should be placed in the container and kept on the top shelf of the refrigerator door. Place the sticker on an exterior window near an entry point to alert personnel that there is a vial with a medical reference sheet provided.
Finally, remember to keep the form up-to-date. Any change in medical information including medication dosage/frequency, insurance information, or physician information should be kept current.
The Brevard County Fire Rescue Vial of Life Program was featured on Wesh 2 News at the "Fight Back Brevard" event in Viera, FL. Watch the news story HERE
WATCH VIDEO: BCFR public service announcement explains the Vial of Life program and shows how important it is to first responders.
Dr. John McPherson serves as the current Medical Director for Brevard County Fire Rescue. A graduate of the University of Pittsburg School of Medicine, Dr. McPherson completed his training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Florida-Jacksonville where he continued to work with EM residents as an assistant professor supervising emergency medicine and aero-medical training. He has been an active participant in the training of EMS providers and a promotion of the profession since the 1980's.
Notice of Privacy Practices
Brevard County Fire Rescue is required by law to maintain the privacy of certain confidential health care information, known as Protected Health Information or PHI, and to provide you with a notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your PHI.