Several Eastside firefighters released over COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Several firefighters with Eastside Fire and Rescue will be out of a job Monday after not getting the COVID-19 vaccine

Ten firefighters are facing termination and most cited religious exemptions. 

In August, Inslee issued a proclamation that required health care workers, including emergency service providers, to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18, 2021. 

Last week, a public meeting was held at the fire station, where the community voiced their support for the unvaccinated firefighters. 

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FOX 13 spoke with one of the captains who was facing termination. 

 "There’s more than 170 years of combined experience, of career experience, not even including volunteering. So, why would we want to lose that," said Capt. Frank Dahlquist. 

Eastside Fire and Rescue officials said all unvaccinated workers were also provided an opportunity to apply for an exemption and participate in an accommodation process. The department was able to work with individual employees and provide a variety of accommodations to those who qualified.

The department reached a 94% vaccination rate among its personnel.

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