Brothers & Sisters,
This week, we end the fourth month of our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Once again we saw our members step up to the plate and serve our communities with professionalism and care. As we wrap up the third day of our Safety Stand-Down for training and education on COVID-19, we are reminded of the critical importance of gear, masks, and protocols and to heed the words of our Medical Director, Dr. Clayton Kazan, as he and his staff work to keep us safe. These protocols are in place for a reason and even though we have been doing an excellent job of protecting ourselves, we need to remain vigilant as the climate and infection rates change.
We would also like to thank our LACoFD Health Programs Office for their dedication to ensuring that our members stay safe and healthy and get the best, evidence-based treatment available. With over 150 years of experience combined, they are led by three attending physicians and have been tackling an enormous job. In the words of Dr. Kazan, "Over the past month, due to the spike in cases, that has meant actively monitoring more than 500 personnel simultaneously...Most of the individuals who spread it did so unknowingly because they were either asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic at the time...In the past month, the Department has had more than 100 new confirmed infections."
For more information on the incredible job our HPO is doing to track our members and deliver care, please read the latest article in EMS 1 "Longitudinally tracking fire/EMS staff exposure to COVID-19". We need to remain vigilant to protect our members and their families. Stay safe and wear your masks.
Click here to listen.
If you have not had the chance to already, please take a moment to listen to the latest California Professional Firefighters Fire Wire Podcast and the powerful testimony from two of our brothers at Anaheim Firefighters Association Local 2899 — healthy, experienced firefighters — who spent close to a month in the hospital after contracting the deadly virus.
Fill The Boot Campaign Update
For 66 years, the IAFF has been committed to supporting MDA and the families they serve. The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted that support. The inability of our members to conduct traditional Fill the Boot drives has been devastating to MDA, which still must continue to provide vital services for families in need, especially for their most vulnerable children in the midst of this pandemic.
With our iconic Fill the Boot campaign on hiatus, the IAFF and MDA are currently working together on a virtual Fill the Boot program to continue to support and help raise these critically needed funds. This campaign, scheduled to launch in early August.
Click above to see why supporting MDA is so important.
Please keep an eye out for our upcoming virtual campaign and encourage your family, friends, and loved ones to participate via social media.
In Solidarity and Strength,