LA firefighting paramedics receive COVID-19 vaccine

Firetrex and paramedic paraphernalia were removed and the vanished vials and needles on Monday were transformed into a vaccination site for the city’s firefighters as the Los Angeles Fire Station to launch its first of the modern COVID-19 vaccine To get a dose.

Staff from the Los Angeles Fire Department – the city’s first to receive the vaccine – joined first responders in Southern California in receiving the vaccine.

“These are the people who are always there for us,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “Not only during COVID, but when a disaster comes – whether it is a fire, whether it is a medical emergency – we know that these men and women are the people who are truly the cities of our angels.”

Agency spokesman Peter Sanders said shipments of the modern vaccine arrived for the LA Fire Department last week. In the process, about 150 paramedics were trained on Monday morning on how to administer vaccine shots in the arm. In the afternoon, they started giving their colleagues the vaccines seen by Garcetti, Fire Chief Ralph Terzas and other officers.

“We see the vaccine as light at the end of a very long tunnel,” Terezas said. He said that the fire department has seen 650 positive cases since the onset of the epidemic. Roughly a dozen hospitals and one firefighter-paramedic, Jose Perez, Died of COVID-19 complications in July. Even now, 157 remain in quarantine or isolation, Sanders said.

La Mayor Eric Garcetti holds modern COVID-19 vaccination vial

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti held the Modern COVID-19 vaccination vial at LAFD Station 4 on Monday.

(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

The modern vaccine has been shown to be 94.5% effective in preventing cases of COVID-19. The arrival of first responders was reported as LA County showed a growing picture of the epidemic: 7,181 coronavirus-positive patients were hospitalized, according to 1,449 intensive care, Latest state data. Many hospitals have already overtaken patients, and when infections begin to appear from Christmas celebrations, the numbers are expected to worsen.

“It may not feel like it on a rainy day, but it is a ray of sunshine,” said Garcetti.

Behind the mayor, humiliated with the vaccination process. One person registered the names of the firefighters, while another drew the vaccine from a vial and affixed it to the firefighter’s arm. In the coming weeks, firefighters will receive emails and text updates reminding them to receive a second dose.

Sanders said the garage is already operating as a one-week COVID-19 test site for city employees. It will now double as a vaccine site for Watts and two other stations in North Hollywood, as well as about 3,400 first responders from the fire department.

The department hopes to vaccinate every employee who wants to receive them within the next two weeks. In a recent informal survey, about 90% of respondents said they wanted the vaccine, Sanders said.

Firefighter-paramedic Mark Flynn said he was “50-50” a few weeks ago on whether he would get the vaccine, but after researching it and talking to medical doctor relatives who had received vaccinations, he decided to line up .

“The benefits outweigh the risks for me,” Flynn said. “I think the biggest thing is to educate ourselves. Do some personal research on this. “

After receiving the vaccination, he said that he was “happy about it.” Now he plans to share his experience with family and friends.

“I’m like a guinea pig, so to speak for them,” he said. “Maybe I can encourage them to get it.”

Anthony Kong prepares a modern COVID-19 vaccination

Anthony Kong, a fire brigade from the Los Angeles Fire Department, prepared a modern COVID-19 vaccination to be given to LAFD personnel at Station 4 on Monday.

(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Terrazas said he planned to get his first shot on Wednesday, including the firefighter and the president of the main unions. He said that he would videotape his experience and send it to all employees and encourage them to get vaccinated.

“I didn’t want to be cut in front of anybody. It is a long-standing tradition in our fire department – as for food, officers go last, ”said Teresas. “But I also want to encourage people, and the best way to encourage them is for me to take a shot.”

Similar scenes have occurred in recent times at fire stations in Southern California. The Los Angeles County Fire Department began vaccinating on Christmas Eve, Capt. Ron Haralson said. On Sunday, 1,793 of the department’s nearly 4,000 members were given the modern vaccine, he said. Haralson said the department hopes that everyone will present it within the next few days.

Orange County Fire Authority employees began receiving the modern vaccine over the weekend, as did emergency medical technicians, firefighters and paramedics in Corona.

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