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On Thursday morning the International Association of Firefighters released numbers that show the dramatic impact the virus is having on firefighters in the United States and Canada
The most recent numbers show that 1200 firefighters have tested positive, 5900 are in quarantine and 4500 have been isolated.
“It’s obviously alarming when you have firefighters being tested positive, because then you have to back up, you know, maybe two weeks, to anybody that they had been in contact with, either in the station, or out on calls,”
– Doug Neys President of Iowa Professional Firefighters
In order to help minimize exposure firefighters are being told to wear personal protective equipment. In Ottumwa firefighters are required to wear gloves, masks, and protective eye coverings.
“We have some people even changing their clothes in between calls. With this COVID-19, you don’t know where it’s going to go, you don’t know who has it, who doesn’t have it.”
– Ottumwa Fire Chief Tony Miller.
The Iowa Union is asking state law makers for legislation to be passed that would add extra protection for first responders who have been exposed to the virus on the job.
“In regards to … whether or not that would be considered a work-related injury, and the time and the expense for that. There seems to be some inconsistencies across the state with our cities, and we’ve been trying to get to a point where all of our firefighters are treated the same, whether you’re a firefighter in Des Moines, or a firefighter in Ottumwa.”
– Doug Neys
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