KENOSHA — The Kenosha Fire Department resumed COVID-19 vaccinations for their first responders on Thursday. The Fire Department was notified on Tuesday, that the COVID-19 vaccine had arrived. Dr. Tom Grawey, the Medical Director for the fire department said within hours, they were vaccinating employees.
”On Tuesday we were told the health department had vaccines and we were able to mobilize our workforce and get shots in arms within a couple of hours,” said Dr. Grawey.
By the end of Thursday, 110 out of 156 employees will have received the vaccine. Dr. Grawey said it took months of planning to prepare a vaccination plan.
While other fire departments across the state are waiting to vaccinate their employees, Dr. Grawey believes it’s a combination of luck that the vaccines were available and their close relationship with the health department that allowed them to be one of the first departments in the state to vaccine their first responders.
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“Even throughout the country we have seem EMS have a hard time getting the vaccine because they are not always directly affiliated with a larger health care entirely in the community but I think our state has done a good job emphasizing of making EMS a 1-A provider and I think that’s why one of the other reasons why we were able to get the vaccine quickly down in Kenosha,” said Dr. Grawey.
The firefighters administering the vaccine had to receive additional training. Dr. Grawey said getting the vaccine in the arms of EMS workers is crucial for their safety and the safety of the public.
“EMS providers are the healthcare team usually to take care of some of the sickest COVID-19 patients. They are getting limited information, putting on PPE, and performing life-saving interventions,” said Dr. Grawey.