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Gresham firefighters receive COVID-19 vaccines

December 31, 2020

Today, Gresham Fire and Emergency Services administered the first dose of the Moderna vaccine to firefighters, a pivotal step in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. Because Gresham firefighters are on the frontlines providing emergency medical care to the community, they are prioritized under state guidelines to be among the first to receive the vaccine.

"We are excited and grateful to be able to offer this vaccine to our firefighters. They have done an outstanding job this last year handling the changing dynamics of delivering emergency care under strict COVID-19 restrictions that were implemented to protect them and the public.  Our firefighters have demonstrated a sincere level of dedication to public service and witnessing the work they do every day has been inspiring and a testament to their high level of professionalism,” said Fire Chief Mitch Snyder.

Gresham Fire and Emergency Services anticipates vaccinating about half of their firefighters over the next two weeks and is working with Multnomah County to coordinate distribution to Corbett Fire. The City expects to receive 100 initial doses of the vaccine; the two shots per person will be spread out over thirty days. As the vaccine becomes more readily available and per state and County guidance on how the vaccine is distributed, Gresham Fire also plans on administering the vaccine to Gresham police officers.

Multnomah County Health officials authorized Chief of Training, Safety and EMS, Battalion Chief Josh Butler, and EMS Officer, Captain Jay Cross, to administer the vaccines, which must be stored and used under specific guidelines. Both individuals have spearheaded Gresham Fire’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 this year and have taken specific training from the Oregon Health Authority.

While this initial shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine represents a hopeful moment in the pandemic, there is more work to be done to fully vaccinate all City frontline workers, as well as the community at large. As a result, Gresham firefighters will continue to wear protective gear and take precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19.