Brothers & Sisters,
Our Thanksgiving and Holiday Season will be different than we have ever experienced in our firehouses and administrative sites because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures we must take to combat the spread of the virus. We must keep our members safe and not quarantined so we can staff our stations and continue to serve the public. We must set the standard and be an example for our communities. With our public and our private business partners being impacted by shutdowns, we cannot be seen as being an exception to the rules. This is going to be a difficult holiday season and our membership and our families are feeling the impact of these decisions.
This season we will not be having family or visitors at our firehouses or administrative sites because of the high risk of COVID-19. Our Medical Director Dr. Clayton Kazan along with Dr. Gupta and Dr. Kashani have made the difficult decision to recommend and ask the following: wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands regularly, wear proper PPE on calls, and do not have unauthorized visitors in the firehouses and administrative sites. Click here to view the video from the Department. We will support the orders from our doctors who are the best in the business and have expertise in this field. They are our partners in keeping us safe and able to work.
We have had nearly 300 of our 3200 members test positive for COVID-19, and a handful have had life-threatening symptoms. We have been fortunate that we have not lost any of our members, some of our brother and sister locals have not been so fortunate. We also join our small business partners, salon, and restaurant owners who will also be impacted by shutdowns. While we support Supervisors Barger and Hahn's motion to not shutdown without the data to support the shutdown, we also understand ICU and hospital beds are rapidly filling up. We will continue to work with the Board of Supervisors and the state and federal governments to chase funds for relief for these small businesses and our own Department. We are in this together.
While we cannot change the environment we must operate in, just like on the fireground, at dispatch and in the field, we can change how we deal with the impact of the situation. This means more than ever we need to stand together, support each other as we look for all that we have to be thankful for, and support those who are less fortunate. Company Officers as Captains and Battalion Chiefs, please take time to help set the tone to take care of the people we serve, but also take care of our members. Give them the place to workout, maybe even play sports, watch the Dallas Cowboys get beat on Thanksgiving, Zoom with their families and eat more food than they can possibly handle as we remember how we stand in solidarity and strength together.
Finally, our family, the Local 1014 membership, are not immune to the feelings and effects of COVID-19 on our holidays. As we protect our communities, helping them deal with medical emergencies, traffic collisions, fires, shootings, and many more life-altering situations, we must also take care of ourselves. Sometimes we think we are not affected by the impact of not only our jobs, but the impact of the shutdowns, and the change in our daily life and station life, but we are.
Remember for those who need support and feel the need to talk with someone please reach out to our Peer Support Team. Members like you and me, with additional skills, training, and experience to help not only our members but our families. We also have culturally-competent clinicians who know us and get our work and perspective. Reach out if you think for a moment you might benefit from the chat. You can also find more resources at HealingOurOwn.org.
Your Local 1014 Executive Board will be both at home and at work just like all of you. We feel no different than all of our members and our families. We stand in solidarity and in strong support of all as we also navigate this mess. Make tomorrow and every day the best you can as we change how we get our business done.