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COVID-19 pandemic has taken heavy toll on local police, firefighters

Florence Fire Rescue firefighter, Austin Wright
Florence Fire Rescue firefighter, Austin Wright(Times Daily)
Updated: Feb. 8, 2021 at 8:36 AM CST
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - Over the past year, the global pandemic has taken a huge toll on local police and fire departments.

Although many officers and firefighters have recently received the highly anticipated COVID-19 vaccine, a local fire rescue chief said he was astonished when he calculated the amount of staff in his department who contracted the virus.

“We’ve had a total of about 47 to 48 test positive,” Perkins said. “I didn’t realize it was that many. That’s a lot of people,” said Florence Fire Rescue Chief Jeff Perkins.

According to our news partners at the Times Daily, Perkins said the majority of employees in his department have had COVID. He said the department has approximately 83 employees with all but about 10 of them being firefighters.

Florence Police Chief Ron Tyler said 23 of his 133 employees have had COVID-19. He said there are 103 sworn officers in his department.

“Additionally, at least a dozen have had a spouse or child who had it but the employee didn’t but still had to quarantine,” Tyler said. “I think everybody is back now. I don’t know that we have anybody who is off on quarantine now.”

Majority of departments were fortunate to have been able to work around extended absences caused by COVID-19.

Read the full story from our news partners at the Times Daily.

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