Petition calls for return of fire department personnel who quit their jobs because of a vaccination warrant


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More than 2,100 people have signed a petition asking Moses Lake to bring back firefighters who left the department due to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The petition was posted Sunday on change.org by the Moses Lake Firefighters Union.

The union says the department is losing more than 87 years of experience combined with the departures of firefighter / paramedic Michael Evens; Lieutenant Jay Morris on watch; and change Captain Phil Walker.

The city issued a statement this week, saying they initially granted exemptions from the vaccine requirement to eight fire department employees, but determined that there was no accommodation that could be made for them to continue in their roles.

“Our management consulted the legal resources of the State and our insurer. Our insurer advised the City that if we were to take action against the warrants and put an unvaccinated employee in a situation where we received a claim, then there would be no coverage, ”the city said in the statement. “We are a city that needs every penny of our reserve funds to strengthen our community’s infrastructure, not to fight lawsuits.”

The firefighters union, IAFF Local 1258, responded to the city’s comments in a social media post.

“Despite the surrounding city fire departments, fire districts, hospitals, school districts and other EMS agencies that allow accommodation, this is what our city chooses for its permanent employees,” firefighters said. “Those who were leaving were good to work and risk everything until today. What has really changed? “

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