By CECIL PERGRAM
The Powell County Health Department recently administered Hepatitis B vaccinations to members of the Clay City and Stanton Fire Departments.
Hepatitis B vaccination is a voluntary service that has been made available to every firefighter in the state of Kentucky.
The Kentucky Fire Commission has an agreement with the Department of Health where the local health department in each community administers Hepatitis B vaccines to fire fighters. Local health departments purchase the Hepatitis B vaccine and then bill the Fire Commission directly for the cost of the vaccine.
According to the United States Fire Administration first responders are at higher risk for the hepatitis viruses they say that there are many reports of viral hepatitis being contracted from things such as accidental needle sticks, Cardiopulmnary resuscitation (CPR) and contact with bodily fluids while responding to medical calls.
“You have all the wrecks and stuff that firefighters respond to in the community, then you have needles related to the drug epidemic, so a lot of people are actually getting Hepatitis anymore so this will help us if we get a cut or something like that this will help to keep us from getting infections,” Clay City Fire Department Chief Mike Sparks said. “We are working on trying to get a clinic to sponsor us for Hepatitis A vaccinations too.”
“While responding to recent tip to locate a missing person the Powell County Fire Department and Powell County Search and Rescue teams had to suck dirty water from a well before they were able to conduct a search, first responders and firefighters have to sometimes deal with horrible conditions just to do their job,” Clay City Fire Department member Lisa Johnson said.
Both the Clay City and Stanton Fire Department’s would like to extend a special thanks to Sandy Roy, Lana Morehead and Judy Collins for administering the vaccinations to firefighters at the Clay City Fire Station. They would also like to give thanks to Powell County Health Department Director Kathy Hayes for allowing the clinic staff to aide in keeping firefighters safe, so that in turn those firefighters can continue to keep the Powell County community safe.
If anyone would like more information about Hepatitis A or Hepatitis B vaccinations they are encouraged to contact the Powell County Health Department at 663-4360 or they can visit the health department at 376 N. Main Street in Stanton. Hours of operation are 8 a.m.-to-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. The health department is closed on Fridays and weekends.