Recent COVID-19 Surge Affecting TX Firefighters

A total of 50 firefighters from across the nation have now died from the virus.

According to a report from KXAN, Michael Glynn, President of the Fort Worth (TX) Professional Firefighters Association (FWPFA), attended a funeral for a retiree of his department who passed away from COVID-19, then rushed off to the hospital to be with the family of another retired firefighter suffering from the same illness.

Glynn, who is also a FWPFA trustee, admitted that firefighting is a dangerous line of work and, as a long-time firefighter, he understands the concept of loss.

Rodney “Rod” Kelley, a 20-year Austin (TX) Fire Department (AFD) veteran, died from COVID-19 on August 29. Family and friends gathered for services in San Antonio on Tuesday.

Kelley was one of 11 Texas firefighters who have died from COVID-19. Several of these deaths have happened in the past two weeks. This now makes a total of 50 firefighters from across the nation who have died from the virus.

Glynn commended the AFD and Dallas Fire-Rescue for instituting rapid COVID-19 testing for employees at the beginning of each shift. As first responders on scenes, fire crews often don’t know what type of call to which they are responding, even when a fire department has protocols for identifying positive COVID-19 patients.

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