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Coronavirus Coverage

Fire fighter groups call for EMTs to get priority access to Covid-19 vaccine

pocatello fire local 187
KIFI/KIDK

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - As states start to role out plans for their Covid-19 vaccine distribution, there are pleas for who should be first priority.

Along with several other organizations representing fire fighters, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is asking state and local government to prioritize first responders for the vaccine distribution.

Pocatello Firefighters IAFF Local 187 president, Andy Moldenhauer, said he supports the push to protect firefighters. Like many jurisdictions across the country, Pocatello firefighters are also EMTs and paramedics.

“We run about 8,000 calls a year, and probably 90% of those are EMS,” Moldenhauer said.

To try to protect our first responders from contracting the virus, Moldenhauer said crews have been masking up since the start of the pandemic.

"Along with ensuring that the proper PPE is available, priority access to a vaccine allows emergency responders to have another tool to protect themselves and the community as a whole," Tim Burn, the press secretary for the IAFF said in a press release.

The job of an EMT often requires close interaction with people in their homes or in ambulances. Scientific reports show first responders are far more likely to contract the coronavirus because of the high-risk exposures.

To ensure the first link in the Covid-19 response chain is safe, the IAFF believes firefighters, EMTs and paramedics should be part of the first tier of people who get the vaccine.

Local News / News / Pocatello / Top Stories
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Emma Iannacone

Emma is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

Comments

1 Comment

  1. I would hope EMTs were included in the first go round along with frontline healthcare workers, then fire/police fall into the same category as seniors in nursing homes.
    Then go with people of all ages with health problems (obesity is not included in that…you decided to be fat, so be it. If you have a proven health problem for being fat, then jump up in line), the go down the age group till all who want it, have had it.

    On the other hand, some say politicians first, just to make sure it works. Sounds good, but too many will be hoping it doesn’t work.

    But will be very curious to see how many want to jump to the front of the line and cry, even if they have been saying since it was created during the Trump administration it is not any good. Any bets that Gov Cuomo from NY will be first in line?

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