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Unvaccinated D.C. Firefighters Work Overtime During Holidays to Cover Vaccinated Out With COVID; City Still Threatens Unvaccinated With Mandate


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According to D.C. Fire spokeswoman Jennifer Donelan, 198 members of D.C. Fire and EMS are out due to quarantine and positive COVID-19 tests. Out of 2,064 employees, over 100 workers have tested positive for the virus.

While politicians continue to view unvaccinated workers as a threat to public health, the stats paint a different picture.

WUSA 9 reported:

In the last week alone, 117 members of DC Fire and EMS have tested positive. Donelan said 87 of those people were vaccinated and six of those had received a COVID booster. The remaining 30 were not vaccinated against COVID.

City leaders mandated that all D.C. employees, including firefighters, get the COVID-19 vaccine or risk losing their jobs. Fire crews from DC Fire and EMS sent a letter to officials in September pushing back against the mandate. They wrote that nearly half the members of the DC Fire Department, about 900 people, were not vaccinated and 200 of them said they would not get the shot under any circumstances.

Will Jones was one of the firefighters who objected to the vaccine mandate. Jones sought a religious exemption due to the fact that vaccine rates lag behind in developing countries, compared to the United States.

“That is an incredible disparity in terms of life-saving health interventions,” he said. “Because we do know, especially if you’re at a high risk, that this is something that can save lives.”

For months, Jones and some of his colleagues have argued that a reasonable accommodation for those with religious objections would be to allow regular testing as an alternative to vaccination.

As of December 2nd, there was only one approved religious exemption among 839 requests amongst D.C. government employees.

Watch this video report from a few months ago that discusses D.C. firefighters pushing back against the COVID-19 jab mandate:

With the omicron variant rapidly spreading in D.C., the city’s fire department has taken a major hit amongst its workforce.

Ironically, it’s unvaccinated firefighters that are preventing a total collapse of the department. The recent outbreak has spread mostly amongst vaccinated firefighters and unvaccinated firefighters have picked up the slack to protect the city.

As NBC Washington noted:

Fire Chief John Donnelly said the majority of firefighters who tested positive were fully vaccinated and none of them have serious symptoms.

Nine ambulances were out of service all or part of the day on Saturday due to the surge in cases, Donnelly told News4.

But, he said, staffing shortages are not affecting his department’s ability to respond to emergency calls.

However, other firefighters tell a different story of the overbearing hours they’ve worked due to the outbreak. Unvaccinated firefighters have worked overtime throughout the holidays to cover for vaccinated firefighters out due to COVID-19.

Yet, the city is still threatening to fire unvaccinated firefighters with the looming COVID-19 jab mandate. Good luck trying to make any sense of this.

Emily Post News had the exclusive report:

​”I will be working 48 hours straight over the next few days because of vaccinated members being quarantined or COVID positive,” Captain Engels told me in an interview. “But the city is trying to fire the unvaccinated because we are supposedly an undue risk to the public.”

DC Fire spokeswoman Jennifer Donelan told me that, “Our policy limits firefighters to 36 hours straight but does allow for additional hours at the discretion of the Operations Deputy Chief.”

The contagious variant Omicron has swept through DC fire this week. The internal daily reports show 35 positive cases on Wednesday, with 27 fully vaccinated. On Thursday, there were an additional 39 positive cases and 33 of them are fully vaccinated. Up to today, there are 198 on quarantine and 117 tested positive.

“We have guys working 60 hours straight on a regular basis,” said Engels. “These guys have a conscience and don’t want to leave a company out of service, but there’s a breaking point for everybody.”

Engels mentioned part of the problem is the lack of testing for vaccinated firefighters compared to unvaccinated firefighters. He noted that unvaccinated workers get tested every eight days, while vaccinated workers only get tested when exposed.

Firefighter Will Jones commented in Emily Post News:

“The vaccinated are coming to work, and it’s spreading from them. We are tested at a minimum weekly, but they come to work even with symptoms,” Jones told me in an interview Friday.

“If this is about public testing and safety, then everyone should be tested before coming to work,” said Jones.

While hundreds of unvaccinated D.C. firefighters have remained on the force, Mayor Muriel Bowser continues her threat to eliminate religious exemptions.

The city and department leadership continue to place more pressure on unvaccinated D.C. firefighters to take the experimental COVID-19 jab.

An anonymous firefighter shared the department’s COVID-19 policy with Emily Post News:

A vaccinated, symptomatic member who has been exposed will be tested but not quarantined, while an asymptomatic, unvaccinated member who has been exposed will be both tested and quarantined.

For members who are fully vaccinated, testing will take place while the member is at work and a minimum of five days after the reported exposure

Members who are not fully vaccinated should get tested immediately when they find they have had close contact. If the test result is negative, they should test again 5-7 days after their last exposure or immediately if symptoms developed.

Unvaccinated members who are quarantined due to a legit non-work exposure will be placed on their own sick leave but may return to full duty at the discretion of the ICG/ICO if the member has had a negative test and is non symptomatic.

Mayor Muriel Bowser’s COVID-19 jab mandate on D.C. firefighters will not protect the public health of the nation’s capital. In fact, her immoral and unscientific mandate will create a self-manufactured crisis similar to other major metropolitan areas.

The city discriminates against hard-working firefighters and EMS staff that worked tirelessly throughout the “pandemic.” Now, they’re treated like trash by creating a toxic work environment and threatening to fire them for their personal medical decisions.



 

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