Ontario fire fighters association refutes accusations of firefighters jumping vaccination queue

CKTB - NEWS - Fire

The Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association is refuting accusations of firefighters jumping the line for COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Association is responding after about 2.5 percent of fire fighters have received the shot.

OPFFA President Carmen Santoro says they want to ensure the elderly, long-term care residents and workers, and frontline health care workers are vaccinated first, but they hope extra doses could be administered to other critical workers.

"Those who respond to medical emergencies like fire fighters and paramedics should then be vaccinated. And I say that because as firefighters, if we're in isolation we can't work from home. We have to be on the frontlines."

Some fire fighters in Mississauga received a first dose of the vaccine after an outbreak sidelined approximately 100 members of the department.

"They had an outbreak - they had 100 firefighters in isolation! Well, that's not going to help any emergency response. They had brown-outs and it affected public safety. We can't have that again." 

The resulting staff issues caused some fire vehicles to be taken temporarily out of service.

Under Ontario's Phase One of vaccination plan limited doses of the vaccine will go to health care workers in hospitals, long-term care home and retirement homes, congregate care settings, and remote Indigenous communities.

Click here to listen to Santoro's full interview with Tim Denis.