A Tucson emergency medical technician (EMT) traveled to New Jersey to help in the fight against COVID-19.
Alex De Leon was born and raised in Arizona.
The proud Tucson High School alum is on the East Coast away from his family.
"Anyone who thinks COVID-19 is not a serious issue has not seen what we've seen," said De Leon during a Zoom interview.
He says he knew his job could take him to areas with fires, tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters. However, De Leon never imagined this.
"We show up on-scene. Somebody has passed away and there's really nothing we (can) do about it. They're beyond help," said De Leon, about the emergency responses in the East Coast.
De Leon says cases of Dead on Arrival is a daily occurrence.
"I felt a moral obligation to help whoever I could in these kinds of situations," he said.
De Leon has a message to Southern Arizona. He urges people to take precautions against the coronavirus. He says it's important to wash your hands, wear face coverings, and social distancing.
"I love Southern Arizona and Tucson," said De Leon. "I want my community to be as safe as possible."
De Leon's assignment in New Jersey could go as long as 6 weeks, until the end of May.
He keeps sane by Face-timing with his 5-year-old son and by reading to him on Skype.