Volunteer firefighters and first responders in Fifield are signing up for even more during the coronavirus pandemic. The department is now offering to go grocery shopping or pick up medications for the most at-risk people.
The Center for Disease Control has announced that eight out of 10 deaths related to COVID-19 are those adults age 65 and older. Others at risk are people who have serious underlying medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease. The CDC recommends these people practice the highest degree of social distancing and stay at home and away from other people.
That makes it hard to get groceries.
Cindy Walters, a firefighter and first responder for the Fifield Volunteer Fire Department said older people living in Fifield or Park Falls can now call and leave a message at the fire station requesting assistance. She asked folks to call ahead since someone will only be checking the messages once a day. That number is 715-762-3800.
“We might start checking it more if we’re getting a lot of requests,” she said. "I think people are good for now, but if this thing drags out for weeks and weeks people might start to need more help.”
Walters said callers could call and leave questions on the machine as well and someone will get back to them to make arrangements.
The program is simple. Walters or another firefighter or first responder will come to the house, collect the shopping list and money, and bring back the groceries or medications. Walters said nobody would be going into houses or anything additional, to make sure there is still a degree of social distancing maintained.
Grocery stores in the area have made adjustments to help during the pandemic. Pick ‘n Save in Phillips offers grocery pick up orders placed online, and Super One Foods in Park Falls is urging young, healthy shoppers to stay out of the store from 6-7 a.m. and allow the most at-risk individuals to shop at that time, according to a company statement.
Seniors can also still find meals through the county’s weekly senior dining program. Although the locations are now closed, pick up meals are available at the front door of sites in Phillips, Brentwood, Ogema, and Kennan. Meals will also be delivered directly to seniors’ homes if arrangements are made.