Due to an increase in the number of COVID cases among staff, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCFRD) has implemented temporary staffing adjustments, officials said Dec. 29.
As of Dec. 29, 66 employees had tested positive for COVID and 12 more were in quarantine.
Command staff have reviewed data sets and options to determine the appropriate adjustments to achieve the safest balance of emergency response, including:
>> Temporary cross-staffing among six units, including a hazardous-materials unit, a hazardous-materials support unit and four tankers located throughout the county. Cross-staffing allows apparatuses to remain in service and be available for response.
>> Temporarily placing these four units out of service: Tower Ladder 405 (Franconia), Medic 408B (Annandale), Medic 409B (Mount Vernon), Medic 410B (Baileys Crossroads). The medic units are located at stations that have two Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units assigned to them. One EMS unit will remain in service at each station.
>> Requesting that the department’s volunteer partners assist with staffing transport units.
Officials evaluate adjustments and staffing daily. Units will remain in service if staffing permits.
“The recent rise in COVID cases has affected everyone, including first responders,” said Fire Chief John Butler.
Officials are balancing the department’s the ability to carry out its mission with the health, safety, wellness and morale of the first responders, he said.
Currently, 85.4 percent of the department’s 1,260 career staff members have been vaccinated. Per county policy, all other personnel are required to be tested regularly.