AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - As the flu continues to spread in Amarillo, public visits to fire stations or firefighters visiting local schools is on hold.
“The flu is just running rampant in the City of Amarillo,” said Kyle Joy, Captain with the Amarillo Fire Department. “There’s several schools that a large portion of their students are out with the flu, the teachers have the flu.”
Amarillo medical professionals agree, saying they’re continuing to see more flu-related cases each day.
“We have seen a ton over the last two weeks, that’s pretty much everything we’re seeing,” said Cherity Mays, Nurse Practitioner at BSA CareXpress. “Between coughs, congestion, fatigue, fever, and a lot of strep along with it in the little ones.”
The fire department says it values public education, and hopes the community will realize the firefighters visiting schools are the same ones responding to calls.
“We’re one of the only professions in the world that when people call us, they welcome us into their home, without knowing anything about us,” said Capt. Joy. “With this badge that we wear, it carries some responsibility. Part of that responsibility is making sure we’re safe, that the people that we serve are safe, and that the kids in the schools are safe.”
The AFD says it will always respond to emergency calls no matter what, but as some of its own firefighters fight the flu too, this decision can help limit the spread of the illness.
“For instance, public education events, going into schools, if that’s something that we can put on hold just for a little while, until the flu dies down, that not only helps the spread in schools, but it also prevents our firefighters and firefighter families from getting sick," said Capt. Joy.
The Amarillo Fire Department says it’s going to be watching the spread of flu closely in our area, and hopefully be back visiting schools within the next two weeks.