SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Springfield Fire Department has been partnering with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department (SGCHD) to administer vaccines to the community.
Division Chief of Operations Eric Latimer says firefighters protect the public in many ways, shapes, and forms.
“This is not a political issue,” said Latimer. “It’s just like smoke alarms, smoke alarms are not political, smoke alarms saves lives, vaccines will save lives.”
The fire department’s partnership helps relieve pressure off of other healthcare workers who can now expand vaccination efforts to other counties.
“It has been a huge help, not just from a capacity standpoint, but also from a trust standpoint,” said Cara Erwin, the community wellness coordinator at SGCHD. “Because we know that firefighters are very well respected and well trusted. So if there are people who have hesitations to receive a shot from one organization, perhaps maybe getting one from a firefighter maybe what they need.”
Anyone 12-years-old or older can go get a vaccine.
“At a minimum, firefighters are EMT basic here in Springfield, so this is some additional training we get through the Greene County Health Department and the CDC,” said Latimer.
As of today, firefighters administered 680 vaccines since the department started on May 7. There will be another event at Fire Station One from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on July 8.