Coronavirus/COVID-19 Updates

(Update March 23, 2020) 

Modified Response

To meet these recommendations and alleviate emergency room congestion, Roanoke Fire-EMS has adapted our current protocol to meet the needs of the most up-to-date knowledge of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). In order to provide the best patient care to our community, and for the health and safety of our personnel, we are modifying how our department will respond to patients experiencing common symptoms found with the virus.

With support from our operational medical director, Dr. Carol Bernier, we’ve developed screening tools, which includes an interview and physical assessment to establish if you fit the criteria to be transported to the hospital or can be treated from home.

Upon completion of the verbal and physical assessment and consultation with an on-call physician, patients that do not fall under the transport criteria will be given care plan instructions for the next 14 days. Patients may call back if symptoms worsen or seek further medical direction from their primary care physician or Virginia Department of Health at (1-855-949-8378).

This care plan includes direction on social isolation, instructions on personal medical care for this period of isolation, a symptom tracking card (which should be presented during any further medical care), what to do and who to call should symptoms worsen, and CDC guidelines for social isolation, decontamination, proper use of face mask, and hygiene instructions.

This protocol does not impact our responses to other incidents including, patients with chest pain, difficult breathing, falls, and other serious to life-threatening medical emergencies.

We appreciate your cooperation and patience with us as we work to mitigate the spread of the virus and flatten the curve of its impact.

Outreach Programs and Station Visitors

Roanoke Fire-EMS is committed to the health and safety of our personnel, community and our patients. In a proactive effort to limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) our department will begin temporary changes that will affect our every day operations. Operations being suspended include:

• Public Events (This includes the Food Truck Inspection Event set for March 25th @ the Berglund Center)

• Station Tours/ Drop-in Visits

• Child Safety Seat Installations- Our partners with Carilion Children's have made virtual car seat assistance available for those needing help, reach out to Jill Lucas Drakeford, Community Health Educator and a National Certified Car Seat Technician at (540) 981-8075 or 

• Smoke Alarm Installations

Our administration office is also closed to the public. To obtain fire and medical reports, please contact our officer at (540) 853-2327. 

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation during this time. 

For more information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its state impact, refer to the Virginia Department of Health website:

For more information on the City of Roanoke's response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) refer to the City's dedicated webpage:


About Roanoke Fire-EMS

The City of Roanoke’s Department of Fire-EMS’ mission is to foster a diverse, inclusive and innovative workforce that proudly serves the residents, citizens and visitors of Roanoke by protecting lives and property with professionalism, integrity and respect. With a leadership philosophy that strives to invest in, empower, and hold each other accountable to accomplish our team’s mission, Roanoke Fire-EMS values commitment, courtesy and compassion. 

Roanoke Fire-EMS is a full-service fire and emergency medical service agency providing:

  • Fire suppression services
  • Basic and advanced pre-hospital life support
  • Fire prevention and community risk reduction education programs
  • Fire investigations
  • Heavy tactical rescue (HTR)
  • Swift water rescue (SWR)
  • Regional Hazardous Materials Team
  • Vehicle extrication
  • Emergency Management

In addition to housing firefighting and EMS personnel and apparatus, Fire-EMS stations are neighborhood resources. Fire-EMS personnel at these sites help distribute important city documents, teach about fire and life safety, and provide a safe place for lost children and adults.