The Houston Fire Department said its firefighters are running on empty as they try to keep up with the city’s pandemic surge. HFD Chief Sam Pena said about 300 firefighters are in quarantine. Pena said the ones not in quarantine are overworked and there is no end in sight.
“Yes, they’re being stretched thin, and yes, they’re being overworked and it is stressful for them,” Pena said. “There’s no question Houston firefighters are working long hours, they’re working extra shifts, and it’s all a result of the impact of the staffing that we’re having to deal with right now.” Firefighters who are able to work are facing an increasing number of emergency calls and work shifts that can last multiple days.
“We have firefighters who have been at the station for two and three days at a time and cannot get relief,” said Houston Professional Firefighters Association President Marty Lancton.