Firefighter families call for religious exemption during Redmond City Council meeting

Several community members spoke during the Redmond City Council meeting Tuesday night asking the city will allow religious exemption from the COVID vaccine for firefighters.

Last week, about 20 firefighters believed the city would accept their religious exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine, but now they worry that will not be the case.

"It’s really hard, and it’s hard to watch him every day be so stressed and so defeated, because he loves what he does. He loves being a firefighter. He loves serving the city of Redmond. And he is so passionate about it," said Amanda Parnell.

Parnell spoke to council during public input.

She says her husband has worked as a firefighter with the department for seven years. Parnell and her husband just had their first baby about three months ago.

Parnell says if the city will not allow her husband’s religious exemption for the vaccination, her family will have to leave their home.

"I’m here to support my husband, and to support all of the other families in there that are affected by this, and to support everyone’s right to choose," she said.

Several other people spoke during public input in favor of giving firefighters the ability to continue working, despite vaccine status. As well, a small group of people held signs and chanted outside of the city council chambers.

While this issue got a lot of attention Tuesday night, there was no specific item on the council’s agenda focused on vaccination for its employees.

The city has said in the past it will follow the state's mandate on the vaccine.

Q13 News reached out to each member of city council for comment on the current situation, but no one responded.