Oklahoma City Firefighters Recovering From COVID-19


Friday, July 31st 2020, 12:13 am
By: Bonnie Campo


OKLAHOMA CITY -

Since June, the Oklahoma City Fire Department reported 110 employees in quarantine and 23 positive COVID-19 cases.

They were initially worried that the spread might impact their lifesaving work in their community.

There have been 12 recoveries which means 11 are still fighting the virus.

Immediate defensive measures helped the department rebound.

"Sanitizing the fire stations twice a day,” OKCFD Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson said. “We are talking a full spray down of the stations. We didn't use to do that. If we are close to each other, we are wearing a mask now."

Battalion said OKCFD is made up of about 1,000 employees.

At some point, when numbers reached their peak, a 'Level Red' emergency staffing plan was issued.

None of the department's 36 stations had to shut down, but a few brush pumpers were taken out of service temporarily as firefighters recovered.

Right now, the firefighting family is supporting each other through hard times.

The trends are encouraging.

"Our numbers are looking a lot better than they did towards the middle and end part of June,” Fulkerson said. "It was rough for some of them. We had one firefighter that was hospitalized for a brief amount of time. He is doing much better now."

Firefighters said they are also turning the beds in opposite directions one another, so that each person's head will be six feet apart when they sleep inside the station.