Lynchburg Fire Chief Greg Wormser announced today, April 2, 2020 that two firefighters are currently being tested after coming in contact with a patient that would later test positive with Coronavirus (COVID-19). The two firefighters began exhibiting symptoms and are currently in quarantine awaiting results from the tests. Out of an abundance of caution, the 15 firefighters who worked with them are now also under self-quarantine but are not exhibiting symptoms. All of these firefighters were stationed at Fire Station 3, located on Fort Avenue.
Fire Station 3 will close while it undergoes a deep cleaning. According to Chief Wormser, off-duty firefighters have been called in and are covering for firefighters who are now quarantined.
“We wish our staff the very best. Our firefighters are incredibly resilient. We hope we are just erring on the side of caution, and the tests come back negative but either way, their health and safety and the health and safety of the community we serve are our first priority,” said Wormser.
Wormser said that Fire Station 1 closed earlier this week as a precaution after another firefighter tested positive with COVID-19, the station will reopen on Friday. The Fire Chief also said that work is currently being done to create a new staffing and operations model that calls for fewer personnel to be housed in each fire station, while not reducing the total number of staff on-duty.
“This new model will allow for less exposure for our personnel while still providing quality response time and care,” said Wormser.
The Fire Chief also stressed the importance of strictly adhering to the guidelines outlined by the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. This includes washing your hands, practicing effective social distancing of six feet or more, and remaining at home as much as possible.
Working together, we can all ensure that our community remains a great place to live work and play.