A Pullman Fire Department firefighter-medic was under quarantine after being exposed to a patient suspected of a possible COVID-19 infection.

Later in the day, the unnamed firefighter was released from quarantine after the patient’s test came back negative, according to a city of Pullman news release.

The exposure happened Wednesday morning when the firefighter was taking the patient to Pullman Regional Hospital, according to an earlier news release.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the firefighter is under quarantine, pending test results from the original patient,” the original news release stated.

Pullman Fire Department Chief Mike Heston told the Daily News that first responders were called to rendezvous with the patient, who was from out of town and needed to be transported to the nearest hospital.

Heston said firefighters and medics try to protect themselves from exposure by wearing protective equipment and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from people when they can.

However, like many others, they are experiencing a shortage of equipment, such as masks, he said. The department has put in a request to the state to supply it with more equipment.

The fire department wrote on its Facebook page that some firefighters may have to wear swim goggles until it receives a shipment of protective goggles.

First responders have advised residents who call 911 to tell the dispatcher if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms, a cough, a fever, difficulty breathing or are being evaluated for COVID-19. People are also asked to put on a face mask before first responders arrive, if possible.

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