/ Modified jun 12, 2020 5:28 p.m.

Tucson EMT describes what it’s like to work in a COVID-19 hot spot

Alex de León was deployed to help first responders in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

An EMT in Tucson who recently returned from assisting front-line workers in New Jersey described what it’s like to work in one of the pandemic’s hot spots. New Jersey has the second-highest number of confirmed cases in the country. Alex de León discussed his deployment to the city of Elizabeth to work with its fire department.

“I’ve never really been scared to do my job before, I think until this,” de León said. “It felt like the city of Elizabeth itself was sick. I don’t know how else to put it, but there’s just this thing in the air. This creeping presence in the community that was just, I don’t know, 'creepy' is the only word I can think of.”

He described a large refrigeration truck used to store an overflow of bodies after a hospital’s morgue became full. The truck was not far from where first responders parked their ambulances.

“Every time we run on a call, you just go by that truck. And it definitely keeps things in perspective,” de León said. “You see that and you know that you’re there for a very serious reason.”

Arizona 360
Arizona 360 airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on PBS 6 and Saturdays at 8 p.m. on PBS 6 PLUS. See more from Arizona 360.
By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
AZPM is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona