First responders develop new protocols

Two-thirds of the 7,000 calls to the Biloxi Fire Department in a typical year are medical emergencies, and the threat of the coronavirus means 911 dispatchers will be asking more questions as they roll first responders to calls for help.

“It’s really a matter of protecting our first responders and making sure we don’t do anything that might spread the threat of this virus,” said Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney. “Our dispatchers are asking questions about a person’s current conditions, whether they have a fever, if they have recently traveled, etcetera, to make sure we have a good read on the situation.”

AMR, the local-contracted ambulance service, “is taking the lead on cases that could be virus-related,” Boney said. “Our firefighters will certainly be there, and certainly will take action if a person is in distress.”

Added Biloxi Police Chief John Miller: “The public needs to know that when you dial 911 someone is going to be there for help. You’re going to have Biloxi Police, Biloxi Fire and AMR, just as you always have. Our people are just going to be more sensitive to the issues.”

News & notes: Council replays, schedule updates

Council replay: Replays of today’s two Biloxi City Council meetings are now on the city’s YouTube page. To see the meetings archive, click here. The meetings also air on BTV daily at 9 a.m., 9 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Mardi Gras Museum: The Coastal Mississippi Mardi Gras in downtown Biloxi has announced that it is temporarily closing.

Community Market: The Charles R. Hegwood Community, which usually takes place under the I-110 off Howard and Hopkins on Tuesdays and Thursday, has closed until further notice.

Easter events: The Biloxi Parks & Recreation Department has canceled its Easter events and Biloxi Excel by 5 has canceled its Hop the Trail to Bunny Land which was scheduled to take place this weekend.

Coronavirus page: The city’s coronavirus page now contains an archive of city news stories about the coronavirus. To see the page, click here.