Firefighters, truck exposed to possible bedbug infestation - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Firefighters, truck exposed to possible bedbug infestation

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- A group of Chattanooga firefighters and the truck they were using are at the center of an unusual situation: a possible bedbug infestation.

Fire department spokesman Bruce Garner explained that Quint 2 responded from Station 1to J.C. Towers at 500 W. Martin Luther King Boulevard Monday shortly before6:00 p.m. on a medical call.

The patient was found lying on the floor when firefighters arrived.The patient was prepared for transport and handed off to Hamilton County EMS.

The firefighters said the patient was covered with what appeared to be bedbugs. After finishing uptheir treatment of the patient, three firefighters said they had bug bites ontheir legs.

As a precaution, they advised the department's safety officer of the situation andreturned to Station 1. Upon arrival, the safety officer instructed thefirefighters to lay out a tarp in the bay and get out of their turnout gear onthe tarp.

The tarp was then rolled up and taken away, where it would be treatedfor insect infestation. Quint 2 was taken to the Training Center, where itwould be treated as well.

"It is important to note that wehave not confirmed that the insects involved are bedbugs," said Garner. "But the firedepartment is taking action regardless and treating the situation as aninfestation."

Quint 2 and all the turnout gear will be treated for theinfestation, and a pest control company is being sent to Station 1 to inspectthe facility for any signs of infestation.

"The firefighters are also beingsupplied with protective coveralls, which they will wear when they deem itappropriate for the situation," Garner added. "The coveralls are cheap and can either be reusedor discarded."

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