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First Responders Tackle Wildfires After Intense Weeks Of Fighting COVID-19
Blaine County First Responders Tackle Wildfires After Intense Weeks Of Fighting COVID-19
Boise State Public Radio
by Rachel Cohen
At one point, Blaine County, home to Sun Valley, had the highest per capita rate of COVID-19 cases in the entire country. It required an all-hands-on deck response from first responders, many of whom didn’t get a break before wildfire season picked up in April.
Two months ago, Emily White was treating injured skiers on Sun Valley’s Bald Mountain as a ski patroller. Then, the same March weekend Blaine County announced its first coronavirus case, the mountain shut down. She lost a month’s income from ski patrolling, but was able to immediately start working full-time at the Ketchum Fire Department, where she volunteers as a firefighter and EMT.
Soon after she joined a shift full-time, White said, “every call started sounding like they had a fever and a cough and were feeling weak. It was crazy.”