Sources in fire departments across King County told KIRO 7 a solid 30% of on-duty firefighters, paramedics and EMTs are not vaccinated for COVID-19 now. And in some fire stations, they told us that number is close to 40%.
Some firefighters told their unions they won’t get vaccinated to abide by Gov. Jay Inslee’s Oct. 18 mandate, which means they could lose their jobs. Those alarming numbers are the same in Pierce County too.
“Most of us in Pierce County — we’re looking at 30% of our labor force, which is a huge number,” said Tacoma firefighter and IAFF Local 31 Union President Allyson Hinzman. “Especially at a time like this when we’re dealing with fires and increased call volumes.” Hinzman signed an open letter along with 10 fellow union leaders from across Pierce County to Inslee.