VIDEO MESSAGE: Fire Chief Addresses COVID-19

Please click HERE to watch the Fire Chief addressing the state of Champaign’s fire services following Champaign County’s first confirmed case of COVID-19.


Hello, I am Champaign Fire Chief Gary Ludwig.

As many of you are aware, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District announced that Champaign County has had its first confirmed case of COVID-19. Across the state, more new cases are confirmed every day. I assure you that the Champaign Fire Department remains here to serve during these uncertain times. It is important we work together to help in the prevention and management of COVID-19.

The Chief Officers of the Champaign Fire Department and I along with METCAD 911 dispatchers have been meeting with our emergency medical services medical directors at Carle Foundation Hospital and OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center. At this time, firefighters will be responding to the same medical emergencies we had previously to the outbreak of COVID-19. METCAD 911 dispatchers will help firefighters and EMTs better respond to the needs of the citizens and visitors to the City of Champaign by asking additional questions during the call for assistance. These questions will not delay the response of the firefighters or EMTs but allow first responders to provide the best care possible.

Firefighters will be following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended guidelines for emergency responders while responding to those calls where the patient is displaying flu-like symptoms. One responder will now make initial contact wearing appropriate personal protective equipment or PPE while other responders are preparing equipment and their own PPE. These precautions will limit both the patient and first responder to possible exposure and help maintain a properly staffed fire department.

As you search for additional information regarding COVID-19, only rely on reputable sources such as the Champaign-Urbana Public Health, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the CDC. Remember to clean your hands often, avoid close contact, and stay home if you are sick.

Thank you for your patience and support as we work together to overcome COVID-19.