If you haven’t seen a firefighter in action lately, you might not recognize them.
The long-maintained tradition of firefighters working and living together has undergone major changes in the COVID-19 era.
Capt. Shawn Prather and firefighter/EMT Jasper Stenstrom of Graham Fire & Rescue recently gave The News Tribune a modified tour of fire station 95 on 78th Avenue in the Frederickson area. Only firefighters are now allowed in the station’s living quarters. Graham Fire has five stations that cover an approximately 80-square-mile area. Crews respond to about 7,000 calls annually. Of those, 75-80% are medical calls. The rest are fires, motor vehicle accidents and rescues.
COVID has changed how they interact with the public and each other. “It’s had a huge impact on our response on calls,” Prather said.