The first round of Anchorage Fire Department employees rolled up their sleeves Tuesday to get a second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Assistant Chief Mike Crotty called it a “good thing.” He said the virus has taken a toll on the department at times, stretching resources and personnel thin.
“Folks are starting to get a little worn down, frankly, by this,” said Crotty.
The department prioritizes the patient’s health, he said, but the virus has impacted the people who protect them. “If we have too many of our folks on quarantine or home with COVID, we can’t staff our ambulances and firetrucks. And that’s a chief concern for us.”
Despite that, the vaccination isn’t mandatory. Crotty said a survey taken in early December of the Anchorage, Girdwood and Chugiak fire departments showed 72% would consent to get the vaccine. Crotty said recent numbers show that 75.5% of Anchorage Fire Department employees received the first dose, while the percentages in Chugiak (62%) and Girdwood (41%) were lower.