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COVID-19 vaccine provides ‘peace of mind’ for Orange County Fire Authority firefighters

Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Ray McQueen said he and his colleagues have been seeing an increase in calls related to COVID-19, so he was happy to be among the first 100 firefighters at the agency to volunteer Saturday, Dec. 26, to receive the first of two doses of the vaccine.

McQueen, a lefty, rolled up his right sleeve to get the shot. He said he barely felt the needle and suffered no side effects.

“Peace of mind for us and better able to do our job and better enable us to help the public. A rescuer who is sick and at home is no good to anybody,” said McQueen, who works at Station 71 in Santa Ana.

Firefighters were inoculated with the Moderna vaccine at the OCFA Regional Fire Operations and Training Center in Irvine.

OCFA serves almost 2 million residents in 23 cities and all unincorporated areas in Orange County from its 77 fire stations, its website says.

Officials administered the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to 100 Orange County Fire Authority firefighters at the agency’s Regional Fire Operations and Training Center Saturday, Dec. 26. (Courtesy of Orange County Fire Authority)

OCFA firefighters wear masks or respirators, protective goggles, a gown and vinyl or latex gloves on calls where it is suspected that patients have the coronavirus. Still, “a good number” of OCFA firefighters have been quarantined because somewhere, they contracted COVID-19 or were exposed to someone who did, McQueen said.

“It’s definitely a personal choice for everybody, but (the vaccine) provides an extra layer of protection,” he said.

More OCFA firefighters will be inoculated in the coming days.

Source: Orange County Register

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