Local fire, EMS, and police first responders receive COVID vaccinations


Chief Schick one of the first in line to receive the vaccine

Jan. 5, 2021 — Firefighters and paramedics with Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue (SVFR) and Western Lane Ambulance District (WLAD) have begun receiving the COVID vaccine made by Moderna. 

Fire and EMS Chief Michael Schick (left) was one of the first in line to receive the vaccine administered by Operations Chief Matt House (right) on Monday, Jan. 4th. “It felt no different to me than a regular flu vaccination and I’m very grateful that we can begin protecting our first responders. My crews have been very diligent by wearing the correct protective equipment when providing care to COVID positive patients, but it will be nice to have this extra layer of protection for them,” said Chief Schick.

 The COVID vaccine will be offered to all fire and EMS crews over the next few weeks and will also be made available to Florence Police Department personnel. Around 80 percent of the SVFR and WLAD first responders have expressed interest in receiving the vaccine, which consists of two doses given 28 days apart.   

SVFR provides an all-hazards emergency response to 14,000 people over 100 square miles. WLAD provides emergency medical service (EMS) to 17,500 people over 980 square miles. Together, the agencies include full-time, part-time and volunteer personnel that respond to an average of 3,800 calls per year. On Oct. 1, 2019 the administrative offices SVFR and WLAD combined to form Western Lane Fire and EMS Authority. 

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