Chief: We need to do better

TIM JEAN/Staff photoLondonderry's Central Fire Station on Mammoth Road. Fire Chief Darren O'Brien gives weekly updates on the community's COVID-19 situation and urges residents to continue to practice safe guidelines and social distancing.

LONDONDERRY — In his weekly addresses to the community, fire Chief Darren O'Brien shared his thoughts and updates on the currently challenges due to the coronavirus, commonly known as COVID-19.

In a recent chat, the chief said the community could be doing better.

In a videotaped message April 30, O'Brien offered numerical updates on what Londonderry is facing, including the fact that the community was listed as fifth recently among communities across the state for diagnosed cases of the virus. As of the end of the week, Londonderry had over 60 cases.

"We've been going through this long enough now for everybody to know, or should know, what the instructions are," O'Brien said, "what the stay-at-home order means and what that is."

O'Brien urged residents to remain vigilant, don't invite family and friends from another state to come to Londonderry to visit, and don't go out in public without wearing a mask.

"Now is not the time to do that. We are getting more and more new cases," the chief reported, "because at this point, I feel people are not following the directions that are outlined out there."

That includes all the current guidelines put in place by New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, the federal guidelines through Centers for Disease Control/Prevention, or CDC, and what the town has put in place as well.

As for the Fire Department, O'Brien said his crews are doing well, making sure all safety precautions and protective gear is in place to not only protect first resonders but those needing emergency assistance,

But a recent motor vehicle accident on Interstate 93 near Exit 4 did cause several emergency crew members to be exposed to COVID-19 and those nine members were put into quarantine.

"They were exposed in a motor vehicle accident," the chief said. "Again, we are not knowing who we are dealing with. It was a pretty intense extraction and one of the occupants of that vehicle tested positive."

O'Brien urged people to contact the department if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, were tested or are awaiting testing results and go to the department's site on the town page and fill out information for those specific medical needs to keep first responders updated and ready to respond safely to all calls and situations.

O'Brien also invited anyone wanting to donate masks, including homemade masks, to bring them to a special safely placed donation box. Masks donated would be distributed to the community where the need is, including senior citizens and town staff. He also encouraged residents to continue to support local businesses and restaurants who continue to struggle during this time.

O'Brien stressed to residents to remain safe and follow the rules.

"We should not be seeing the number of case we are seeing here in Londonderry," he said. "Stay at home people. That's what we need to do. As the governor said a few days ago, the safest place to be is at home. We need to do better."

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