EVERETT, WA – Over the weekend, 10 Everett firefighters were placed in quarantine at their homes after a co-worker became ill after their work shift. The firefighter sought medical attention for his illness, which included a test for the Coronavirus (COVID-19), which returned with a positive result. It is unknown where the ill firefighter contracted the virus.
Three additional firefighters are also in quarantine due to separate exposures to individuals with known COVID-19 infections.
All 13 crew members will be quarantined at their homes for the incubation period of the Coronavirus, which is 14 days from the date of exposure. The fire department will monitor their condition for any symptoms of COVID-19.
There is no cause for alarm to the public. Since the arrival of the first identified U.S. positive COVID-19 patient was identified in Snohomish County, the Everett Fire Department has proactively taken precautionary measures to protect firefighters from contracting the COVID-19 virus from their interactions with the public and ensuring firefighters are not the cause of spreading the virus to the community members they serve. All firefighters are required to follow a high-level Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) protocol during any medical call or interaction with the public, which includes wearing an N-95 mask or respirator, eye goggles or face shield, a protective gown, and gloves. Additionally, extraordinary cleaning and decontamination measures are in place for the fire apparatus and stations to ensure the safety of our firefighters and the community they serve.
The department works in partnership with the Everett Firefighters, IAFF Local 46, to ensure all affected members are supported during quarantine, illness, and recovery while still answering the calls for help within the community. The Everett Fire Department continues to respond to all emergency and non-emergency calls for service.