By Roger Straw, September 24, 2021
Only 62% of Benicia firefighters have been vaccinated
The Benicia Fire Department reported on September 23, 2021 that only 23 of its 37-member staff are vaccinated.
The City of Benicia provided a Public Records email with this information in response to a request submitted by Benician Gregg Horton.
Horton wrote on September 10, “Please provide record sufficient to determine the number of Benicia Firefighters who are vaccinated for COVID-19. Please also provide any records tracking the vaccination rate of Benicia Firefighters over time.”
The City’s formal response began with three paragraphs detailing it’s legal obligation and desire to cooperate fully under California’s Public Records Act (Government Code section 6250 et seq.).
The City’s response then very briefly offered the following: “In response to your request, the Fire Dept. provided the following information: – Currently, 23 of 37, or 62%, of Fire Dept. staff are vaccinated.”
I am concerned, maybe a little alarmed, that unvaccinated first responder firefighters may be in close aerosol contact with residents in times of emergency. I am personally acquainted with and highly appreciative of the quick response our firefighters provide in a resident’s home or in public places when a 911 call goes out.
The City of Benicia ought to quickly agendize and take action to mandate that city workers who come into contact with the public are vaccinated and/or tested routinely.