5 Medina firefighters on quarantine after testing positive for Covid

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 December 2020 at 2:47 pm

MEDINA – Five of the career firefighters in the Medina Fire Department are on quarantine until Dec. 12 after testing positive for Covid-19.

That still leaves Medina with 16 firefighters to respond to EMS and fire calls, enough to handle all of the shifts until the department is back at full strength, said Lt. Steve Cooley.

One of the firefighters lost his sense of smell, which has been a leading indicator if someone has Covid. That prompted the department to be tested on Wednesday.

Of the 21 Medina firefighters tested for Covid, five results came back positive. Four of the firefighters have symptoms. The five who tested positive hadn’t been in contact with the public doing their official duties the previous 48 hours of testing positive, Cooley said.

The fire department feels fortunate to have made it this far without any confirmed cases among the staff, given their frequent responses to assist people with illnesses.

“We made it 8 full months,” Cooley said. “It’ a miracle we made it this far with the amount of interactions with have the public who have it.”

The Medina firefighters have been responding to more calls of people suffering from Covid, including several with severe symptoms.

“We’re seeing an increase in the community in the numbers,” Cooley said. “Our thoughts are with those families.”

The department has been doing temperature checks for firefighters when they report to work since March, and requiring them to stay home if they have any symptoms.

The Medina FD also will be increasing its cleaning and disinfection procedures with ambulances and equipment.

“We would like to thank all our partners in public safety and all those that have reached out to us offering assistance,” Cooley said.