DANESE, W.Va. — A seemingly routine EMS call quickly escalated Monday afternoon at a Fayette County residence.
The Fayette County Office of Emergency Management told MetroNews affiliate WJLS that Jan-Care Ambulance responded to a residence along Upper Plantation Road.
The initial call was for a man with shortness of breath. The unidentified man was transported to Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital.
Shortly after arriving at the hospital, four members of the Jan-Care crew began to experience a skin rash and shortness of breath. The emergency room was placed on lockdown as a precaution. The four Jan-Care medics were quarantined inside of the hospital and all patients were decontaminated. The lockdown was lifted within a few hours.
Authorities with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s HAZMAT Team and Fayette County emergency responders returned to the home for testing. Fayette County Fire Services Coordinator Joe Crist says they still are not sure what caused the incident.
“We don’t know if it’s something that the patient had on him to begin with (that) the EMS workers got in contact with when they were checking him out.”
The Fayette County Office of Emergency Services and the DEP’s HAZMAT team have handed over the investigation since not being unable to find anything harmful.
“We closed it on our end, there’s nothing more to do. We took the meters on the outside and it showed nothing and they went in the house and never got a reading on anything,” said Crist.
Fayette County Sheriff Mike Fridley spoke about the case on WJLS’s Radio Roundtable Tuesday morning. He indicated there was concern Monday of the unknown symptoms because of the hospital’s close proximity to Woodrow Wilson High School.
“It’s a scary situation because we’re close to a school and we don’t know what’s going on”, said Sheriff Fridley. “First and foremost is making sure the safety of all of our emergency responders and that’s what we did. It was handled right.”
Sheriff Fridley also said his department will further investigate the man once he is released from quarantine.
“There’s still a part of the investigation, we’ve got to find out what’s going on. We need to talk to this gentleman after he is cleared from the doctor, there could be more to it.”
All four Jan-Care employees were released from the hospital late Monday. The condition of the unidentified man was unknown Tuesday.