Alabama News

Thursday, April 2, 2020

City says 16 first responders in Mobile test positive for COVID-19 antibodies

Mobile Public Safety Director James Barber released the latest information on first responders in the city who are being screened for coronavirus. Barber said that nine police officers and seven members of Mobile Fire-Rescue have tested positive for antibodies related to COVID-19. They are now under quarantine as the city awaits validation test results to see if the first responders are actually positive for COVID-19. Up until Monday, only sick people were being tested for COVID-19, but now first responders who have not shown any symptoms are also being tested. Barber said he did not know exactly how many police officers and firefighters have been tested so far.
WALA MyFox Gulf Coast

31 Tuscaloosa firefighters on leave after COVID-19 exposure; 1 tests positive

More than 12 percent of the Tuscaloosa fire department has been put on leave in less than 24 hours after at least one firefighter tested positive for COVID-19. Seventeen firefighters were put on paid leave Tuesday night. By Wednesday morning, a total of 31 firefighters had been sent home amid coronavirus concerns. By Wednesday afternoon, said Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, seven had been cleared and returned to work. Additionally, four Tuscaloosa police officers also are on leave after possible exposure.

Mobile County first responders receiving hazardous duty pay, counterparts in city aren’t

First responders in Mobile are not receiving hazardous duty pay despite being forced to interact with the public during a pandemic. Many are wondering why, especially since county first responders are receiving hazardous duty pay. Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran says deputies and corrections officers started receiving hazardous duty pay last week. “It’s increased to time-and-a-half for those essential employees who have to have contact with the community because of the contagion within the community,” said Cochran. Public Safety Director James Barber says even though a state of emergency has been declared, nonessential city employees have not been sent home, which can trigger hazardous duty pay for essential workers like first responders. The mayor says this issue is being reviewed and an update will be forthcoming. “We’re reviewing that as we speak, and in the next day or so, 48 hours, we will be coming out with what our plan is,” said Stimpson.
NBC-TV 15 News

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Three firefighters, police officer in Mobile test positive for COVID-19

Three firefighters and a police officer in Mobile have tested positive for COVID-19, city officials said Tuesday. James Barber, executive director of public safety with the city of Mobile, said during a press conference Tuesday that the four city employees tested positive. The positives come after Mobile-based Synergy Laboratories donated 500 “test kits” and 131 asymptomatic first responders were given the 10-minute rapid blood tests on Monday. Barber said the four employees have been quarantined at home until swab tests confirm the virus and physicians provide further guidance. The rapid blood tests search for antibodies in the blood, which could show a past infection, but not necessarily active infections that are still contagious. The swab tests will confirm an active infection if one exists.
Alabama Political Reporter

Fultondale adds rescue truck, tractor

Fultondale Fire Department added a new vehicle to the department’s fleet to respond to emergencies in the city. Rescue 411 is a dual-purpose pumper and rescue truck that can be used to extinguish fires or run medical calls for citizens in distress. The new vehicle was ordered by the city earlier this year and delivered this week. Fultondale Fire posted on Facebook, thanking the city and mayor for the new truck and said,” Fultondale firefighters will be able to respond to a variety of different types of emergency calls that this apparatus and our personnel will be fit to handle. We appreciate our City Leadership for allowing us to take another step into the future, with improved equipment to cover emergency response for our City and Citizens.” The city also acquired a new tractor to help with brush cutting along roadsides in the city to keep right-of-ways cleared.
North Jefferson News

Fairhope volunteer firefighters make special birthday visits during isolation period

Fairhope Volunteer Firefighters are giving back to the community in a big way while kids are stuck at home during this isolation period. “Yeah it was really exciting to have something fun like this for his birthday because of having to stay home,” said Ben Jones, who’s son celebrated his 7th birthday this week. The threat of coronavirus has forced a lot of birthday parties to get canceled. These firefighters are making it their mission to surprise kids by pulling up in a firetruck and turning on the sirens. “Kids faces just absolutely light up when we do it. We love doing it and we’ve had a great time doing it,” said Chris Weinberg with the Fairhope Volunteer Fire Department. Firefighters have visited 24 homes since Friday and the list continues to grow.
WKRG-TV News 5 Mobile

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