Dozens Of Tulsa Police Officer, Firefighters In Quarantine

Monday, November 23rd 2020, 10:25 pm
By: Grant Stephens

TULSA, Okla. -

Tulsa's first responders are dealing with the impact of the pandemic.

City officials says dozens of firefighters are police officers are in quarantine. The Tulsa Police Department says before the pandemic it was already stretched thin, so taking out nearly a tenth of the officers on duty forces the department to get creative. The same goes for Tulsa firefighters who have also had to adapt.

Out of the Tulsa Police Department's 365 officers in the field - 30 of them - about 8-percent - have been quarantined. It's forced a number of staffing changes - but Captain Richard Meulenberg says it's been manageable so far.

"Currently we're doing okay but we don't want to go too much further, we couldn't double these numbers because then we'd really be looking at a strain on our personnel," he said.

The Tulsa Fire Department is a similar story. There are 82 firefighters or 12.5-percent in quarantine.

"The fire department and the police department are critical infrastructure, meaning we have to function, we have to be here for the people and the people deserve that," said Andy Little, the Tulsa Fire Department's public information officer.

Firefighters are sanitizing stations between each shift, and TPD is doing its part to sanitize and wear masks when possible to reduce the number of staff in quarantine. But they say the number of quarantined first responders has been going up as long as cases continue to rise in Tulsa.

Little says community efforts like wearing a mask could go a long way to help.

"Take care of yourself and stay healthy," he said.

"Take precautions and be considerate of your neighbors. We're going to do that for you, and we would hope that you would do that for us."