Seattle FD makes contingency plans for handling emergencies as vaccine deadline approaches

With just a few days to go until the vaccine mandate takes effect, the Seattle Fire Department is making contingency plans for handling emergencies. 

The vaccine mandate deadline is Monday, Oct. 18. 

"We are committed to the health and safety of our community, and will comply with the Mayor and Governor’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates," said Seattle fire officials. 

The department expects to see some departures of personnel because of the mandate and it is preparing for how it can adjust its response model through the transition.

RELATED: Last day for state workers in Washington to receive final COVID-19 vaccine in compliance with mandate

The following are actions the department plans to take: 

  • Canceling all non-essential training, community events and limiting our annual building inspection focus to schools.
  • Prioritizing which units could be placed out-of-service through analysis of response routes to ensure city coverage by SFD remains in place.
  • Adjusting response models to various incident types to best serve our residents while below normal staffing levels.
  • Activating our Resource Management Center to monitor response data in real-time.

"We want to assure the community we serve that we will continue to fulfill our mission of responding to all 9-1-1 calls for fire suppression and emergency medical services," officials said. 

The city of Seattle is working to firm up data on how many department employees have submitted vaccine verifications. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, 95% of Seattle Fire Department members submitted their verified vaccine forms or exemption forms. Of the submissions, 88% of active employees are confirmed to be vaccinated. 

There are a total of 1,084 employees, including uniformed and civilian. Of that number, 1,029 forms have been received and 55 forms have yet to be submitted. 

The department said it expects more vaccine verifications in the coming days.


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