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7th DC firefighter tests positive for COVID-19

DC firefighters also responded to reported fire at apartment of two people with COVID-19

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UPDATE: The “video town hall” that was scheduled with DC firefighters today has been postponed.

The DC Fire & EMS Department has been hit hard  by the coronavirus pandemic. With seven DC firefighters now confirmed to have COVID-19, Chief Gregory Dean and IAFF Local 36 are preparing to address the department today (Monday). Paul Wagner from WTTG-TV/FOX 45 reports the chief and the union will hold a “joint video town hall”.

More than 100 firefighters who have had contact with the seven firefighters remain under quarantine. On Saturday, Wagner shared a department chart that indicated two of the firefighter with COVID-19 are hospitalized. No word yet if that number has increased or decreased.

Chief Dean previously announced that wellness checks were being done on all personnel at the start of each shift. The new policy also prohibits early relief or personnel remaining at the firehouse after their shift ends.

On Saturday evening, the department ran a reported fire in an apartment in Northwest Washington that housed two people who tested positive for COVID-19. Details on that incident are in the story below.

Here are some COVID-19 stats from other fire departments as reported in recent news stories

  • FDNY – 17 tested positive
  • San Jose Fire Department – 13 tested positive
  • Houston Fire Department – 8 firefighters quarantined
  • Orange County Fire Authority – 1 firefighter tested positive, 24 quarantined
  • Dallas Fire-Rescue – 1 firefighter tested positive, 9 quarantined
  • Del Mar (CA) Fire Department – 1 firefighter tested positive
  • Fairview Park (OH) Fire Department – 1 firefighter tested positive
  • Orlando Fire Department – 4 firefighters quarantined

Mark Segraves, WRC-TV/NBC 4:

Seven D.C. firefighters have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Sunday night, D.C. Fire and EMS said.

Health officials notified the fire department that three more firefighters had tested positive on Sunday.

Two firefighters are home and their conditions are improving, the department said.

Read entire story

Paul Wagner, WTTG-TV/FOX 5:

Also on Saturday night, Firefighters were called to an apartment building in the 1300 block of W Street NW where they found a small fire in the kitchen of an apartment.

When it was extinguished two people who were inside the the apartment notified the firefighters they had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Two Way Radio traffic Fox 5 was able to listen to revealed several firefighters had been inside the apartment but told the Battalion Chief on the scene they had kept their distance from the two.

The firefighters were then told to separate themselves from the rest of the first responders who had not entered the apartment.

It is unclear what precautions were taken after that. FOX 5 has reached out to D.C. Fire and EMS for comment.

Read entire story

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