Chicago firefighters put their lives on the line every day, and the risks of their jobs are ramped up even more during the coronavirus pandemic.
But hundreds of Chicago firefighters who got COVID-19 said they were stunned when they were told it is not considered an on-the-job illness. They told CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov it impacts their pay and medical bills – and they’re fighting it.
Chicago firefighters and paramedics are usually the first to help victims of violence, fires, and since March of 2020, COVID-19 patients.
The Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2 said more than 1,000 CFD members have gotten COVID, and three department members have died from it. Yet union leaders said the Chicago Fire Department still classifies COVID-19 as a non-duty injury.
“The only three who are considered duty in the eyes of the Chicago Fire Department are the three who have died,” said Joseph Senorski, political director for the Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2.