HOUSTON - Houston firefighter describes what it was like being on the front-lines in El Paso when cases of COVID-19 were surging to FOX 26.
Now as local authorities are able to get a hand on the number of cases five of the seven HFD members arrived back in Houston on Sunday.
“I got a call one night. - Hey, are you down to go camping, I said I’m always down to go camping,” said Beau Moreno, Capt. Houston Fire Department, Station 42.
The Houston firefighters are back from El Paso after spending 36 days there helping out with the taxed hospital system.
Putting their lives on hold. Even missing thanksgiving with loved ones.
“You do put your whole life on hold. The things that I do for the Houston Fire Department, you put that on hold to go help the people of El Paso,” said Moreno.
Mobile medical units were set up outside of the hospitals, which the crew of seven worked out of. Working long 12-hour overnight shifts for 36 consecutive days.
“You are in there and you feel like your Daniel in the Lion's Den. You’re walking through and you know they’re COVID-19 positive,” said Moreno. “Over the few days you start to learn people’s names, you learn their stories.”
Initially, Moreno said, the plan was for them to transport patients out of El Paso to other hospitals using an ambulance bus.
Instead, Moreno said they had to switch gears quickly, helping out as basically nurses.
He told FOX 26, the Houston Fire Department everyone is trained as an Emergency medical technician.
“They actually had us basically acting like nurses there. While there were nurses and doctors there we were kind of their hands for them.” Said Moreno.
Moreno said part of the reason why it got so bad in El Paso was that the hospital system was not able to keep up with the number of patients.