Tag Archives: Benicia Fire Department

Benicia City Council: Please Require Our Firefighters to be Vaccinated

By Roger Straw, September 25, 2021

A Benicia firefighter tested positive for COVID last year – Fire Department staff now only 62% vaccinated

Benicia Fire Department

Yesterday, I published a recent City of Benicia disclosure that over a third of Benicia’s Fire Department staff is unvaccinated.

At the end of that article, I called for the City to consider and adopt a vaccination mandate for all City staff who come into contact with the public, most especially our firefighters who interact intimately at aerosol-sharing levels when responding to 911 calls.

That call is all the more important considering a Vallejo Times-Herald news report from summer of 2020.  On July 2, 2020, the Times-Herald published “Benicia firefighter tests positive for coronavirus“.

The unnamed firefighter told the city on Wednesday that they have the coronavirus, as city officials work with the Solano County Public Health Department to determine the source of the infection, according to a city of Benicia news release.

An almost identical press statement was released by the City of Benicia two months later, on September 10, 2020.  It is unclear whether this is referring belatedly to the same firefighter, or a second firefighter.

The Benicia Fire Department has had over a year living with the reality of COVID among staff.  Surely the Department is well-informed as to the possibility of re-infection and the high danger of transmission by asymptomatic carriers of the delta strain of the virus.

I am personally acquainted with the incredible heroic up-close measures of these public servants in times of 911 crisis.  I want them safe, and I want those they help to be safe from them.

>> If it is not already doing so, I call upon the Fire Department to at minimum test its unvaccinated staff daily, and to rigorously quarantine any who test positive.

>> If it is not already doing so, Fire Department leadership should strongly encourage all staff to get vaccinated.

>> And I call upon our City Council to act quickly to require all City staff who deal directly with the public to be vaccinated, especially those who deal with Benicia residents in emergencies.

Over a third of Benicia firefighters are not vaccinated

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.

Gregg Horton, Benicia

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.

Benicia Valero Refinery – oil spill in Sulphur Springs Creek

Valero Benicia Refinery Reports Oil Sheen

The refinery deployed a boom to contain the sheen and the Benicia Fire Department is monitoring the situation.
Benicia Patch, by Maggie Fusek, Mar 9, 2021 at 7:33 pm PT
[BenIndy Editor: See also: Benicia Fire Department Level 2 Notification, and CA Hazardous Materials Spill Report.  – R.S.]
The refinery is seen from Interstate Highway 680. (Shutterstock / Frankie WO)

BENICIA, CA — Personnel with the Benicia Fire Department were monitoring an oil sheen reported Tuesday by the Valero Benicia Refinery in Sulphur Springs Creek.

The refinery notified the fire department that at 2:50 p.m. Tuesday, a sheen from an unknown type of oil was spotted in the waters of the creek, Benicia Fire Department officials said.

“Valero Benicia Refinery commenced mitigation efforts at 3:20 p.m.,” fire officials said. “The sheen has been contained and proper clean up, notification and mitigation procedures were underway.”

The incident was not a threat to drinking water or public safety although fire personnel will continue to monitor the situation and will update the public if conditions change, fire officials said.

According to a hazardous materials spill report issued by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, Valero Energy discovered the sheen at 2:50 p.m. Tuesday. The cause of the Petroleum sheen was not known, nor had the source been determined. Refinery personnel contained the sheen by deploying a boom; cleanup was underway and an investigation was ongoing.

Benicia Firefighter Tests Positive for COVID-19

PRESS RELEASE
CITY OF BENICIA
Benicia Fire Department
250 East L Street
Benicia, California 94510

Contact: Fire Chief Josh Chadwick
Benicia Fire Department
(707) 746-4275
jchadwick@ci.benicia.ca.us

CITY OF BENICIA UPDATE ON COVID-19
FOR SEPTEMBER 15, 2020
Benicia Firefighter Tests Positive for COVID-19

Benicia, CA (September 15, 2020) — On September 15, 2020, a Benicia Fire Department firefighter informed the City of Benicia that they received a positive test result for COVID-19. The source of the infection has not yet been determined, but the Benicia Fire Department is working with the Solano County Public Health Department and is following and exceeding their guidance.

Fire Chief Josh Chadwick has been in close contact with Solano County Public Health and has determined that, based on the firefighter’s last shift on duty and the date of onset of symptoms, there was no direct exposure to the community during the firefighter’s infectious period.

“We are fortunate that during the period of infection, the firefighter did not have direct contact with members of the public in the City of Benicia. The Benicia Fire Department is committed to preventing the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring the safety of the residents of Benicia,” said Benicia Fire Chief Josh Chadwick.

The Benicia Fire Department has standing operating guidelines in place and abides by county protocols to limit or prevent the infection between patients and fire personnel. Fire personnel follow these guidelines and protocols during treatment and interaction with residents. The affected Firefighter is in self-quarantine at home and has not required hospitalization.

All Benicia fire stations remain fully staffed and the City does not anticipate any disruption to service delivery.

Due to health privacy rights, the City is prohibited from providing any information about the identity of the affected firefighter. This is the third member of the Fire Department and the sixth City employee to test positive for COVID-19. We are facilitating testing for all employees who may have been exposed.

For up-to-date information about the City of Benicia’s response to COVID-19, please go to https://www.ci.benicia.ca.us/coronavirus.