Caldwell Sheriff's deputies learning how to protect themselves from swine flu

By Steve Ohnesorge - bio l email

Posted by Jeff Rivenbark - email

CALDWELL COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Caldwell County officials say they are taking no chances. Before the swine flu (H1N1) hits, if it ever does, deputies and courthouse personnel are working with the health department to protect themselves and others.

Every deputy will be fitted with a mask and will be trained in how to identify symptoms of the sickness among the public.

Deputies at the Caldwell County courthouse are always on the watch for contraband or weapons coming into the building.  Now, they'll be looking to see if people entering the building have illness or sickness.

Deputies are in contact with all sorts of people every day and that makes them vulnerable to catching something.

All 120 employees of the sheriff's department will be fitted for special masks.

Detention officers are especially vulnerable in any outbreak.

Besides local inmates, the jail houses federal prisoners that could come from across the country or across the border.

Every inmate will be questioned about where they have been.  Anyone who might be sick will be isolated.

There are no cases of swine flu in the county yet but Caldwell County officials just want to be prepared.

They hope all this training is for naught, but they have to be ready just in case.

The sheriff's office hopes to have every deputy trained and fitted with a protective mask to carry with them by Friday night.