With 10 firefighters positive for COVID-19 and 55 quarantined, the Oklahoma City Fire Department has enacted the third phase of their emergency plan.
Like the rest of the state, the Oklahoma City Fire Department is seeing a spike on COVID-19 cases.
“It was going so well for so long, and so it’s disappointing now that we’re seeing the numbers increasing,” Oklahoma City fire Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson said.
The department reports there are now 10 firefighters who have tested positive and 55 quarantined in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Related: OKC Fire Department Enacts 'Level Red' Emergency Staffing Plan After 10 Firefighters Test Positive For COVID-19
Those numbers activated the third and most critical level of the department’s COVID-19 plan.
“We’re just trying really hard to do everything we can to not cause any more cross contamination,” Fulkerson said.
The precautions include limiting personal leave, limiting firefighters to one station, and placing apparatuses out of service if need be.
“When one shift is going off duty and the other is coming on duty, we’re being very careful to maintain our social distancing during that time,” Fulkerson said.
Sanitation is also taking place at each fire station between shifts.
Despite the shortage in available staff, Fulkerson said the department is still able to respond to emergencies as they had before the pandemic.
“Right now, we have not had to place any rigs out of service. We’re still functional,” Fulkerson said.
As firefighters continue to serve the community, Fulkerson said he has faith the community will continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We’re all doing our part and we are doing those things that are recommended. We’re wearing our masks, we’re washing our hands, we’re keeping our six feet the best we can ,” Fulkerson said.