Five Kent-based Puget Sound Fire firefighters are under quarantine, with no symptoms, after coming into contact with COVID-19 patients.
Public Information Officer Joe Root sent a press release on Saturday evening, March 14, explaining the situation.
“In consideration of the dynamic nature of the COVID -19 pandemic, Puget Sound Fire is updating our community with the following information,” according to the media release. “From the start of the outbreak fire agencies across the region have taken a proactive approach to the response of patients that may pose a risk to responders. While providing the same services expected of our community, crews have been taking precautions to prevent exposures and limit transmission of the virus. Following the recommendation of Public Health and our medical officer we have canceled events, implemented extra screening both by 911 call receivers and by crews as they respond, and required the use of personal protective equipment as necessary. Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority is dedicated to protecting our employees and community while maintaining the level of service the community deserves.”
Several agencies have responders that have been quarantined after being exposed to COVID 19. Across the region the count is approximately 60 first responders, according to the press release.
Since Friday night, Puget Sound Fire has placed five firefighters on quarantine status.
“All five are feeling good with no symptoms. They are being quarantined as a proactive measure to prevent any possible spread of the virus,” the press release states. “As part of our early planning they are being supported with all the resources they need. Puget Sound Fire is also taking addition steps to address how we continue to support and meet the needs of all members of the organization. While this is a rapidly changing event, our goal remains to professionally and compassionately provide service to all the members of the communities we serve.”
In a message to the entire department on Saturday morning Fire Chief Matt Morris shared:
“The days and weeks to come will be challenging for us all. We support and will follow the directions from our State leaders and public health agencies. We stand in front of this unprecedented community health risk and we will protect our communities. We will do this with the honor and integrity our citizens demand of us because we believe in them. This is what we do every day, we lead. We serve. We offer compassion. We care.”