Number of police, fire personnel with COVID-19 decreases

Westfield Fire Chief Patrick Egloff speaks March 16, 2020 during a city update on COVID-19 as Police Chief Lawrence Valliere looks on. (HOPE E. TREMBLAY/THE WESTFIELD NEWS)

WESTFIELD – Members of the city’s police and fire departments who were stricken with COVID-19 are either recovered or on the mend.

Fire Chief Patrick Egloff said two weeks ago that 10 firefighters had tested positive and were recovering. This week, he said five firefighters were out due to the coronavirus.

“I’m slowly but surely getting my people back,” he said.

Police Chief Lawrence Valliere said there were five members of the police who were out recovering two weeks ago and now just one employee is affected by the virus.

Egloff said even with some members affected by the virus, services are seamless.

“All fire and EMS services have continued without disruption,” he said.

Egloff noted that the department currently has enough personal protective equipment, or PPE, for everyone.

“We are very good right now when it comes to PPE,” he said. “We have what we need when it comes to COVID patients.”

The city’s emergency management department, along with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, have secured masks and other equipment necessary for public safety personnel.

“We have what we need for at least three weeks,” Egloff said.

Valliere said police also have enough PPE right now. Both chiefs touted assistance from Westfield school nurses helping keep first responders safe as well as residents for staying home.

“We are getting a lot of cooperation from the public,” said Valliere.



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