Steps being taken to protect Sudbury firefighters from COVID-19

Greater Sudbury's fire services says it's taking every precaution it can against COVID-19 to keep firefighters safe.

Deputy Fire Chief Jesse Oshell says on Friday, six volunteer firefighters in Garson responded to a complaint about a party and a bonfire. He says there were concerns about at least one of the partiers.

"We did have some information that our firefighters were concerned that there was a potential for some COVID-related exposure at that party," he said.

Oshell says these days, firefighters go to calls with plenty of extra personal protective equipment on.

But, he says if a crew does come into contact with a potential or confirmed COVID case, there is a protocol, including putting whoever might have been exposed into 14 day isolation.

CBC asked the City of Greater Sudbury if any firefighters were currently being tested for COVID-19, including the ones who responded to the fire in Garson. In a statement, a city spokesperson said in order to protect privacy, information about city employees is not shared until there is a need to do so to protect public health.

"In the event an employee tests positive for COVID-19, the city has public health-approved protocols in place and would work with Public Health Sudbury & Districts to determine next steps, including contact tracing," the statement said.

Oshell says the pandemic isn't keeping firefighters from responding to calls.

"Certainly, we want to make sure individuals are respecting the gathering rules the province has set out," he said.

"We work closely with our partners in the community … to ensure public safety and that everyone is enjoying their long weekend."

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