The union representing Bend’s firefighters is pushing back against the state’s vaccination mandate for health care workers, saying it sets a “dangerous precedent and should be very concerning to all.”
“The Bend Firefighters Association L227 adamantly disagrees with forced vaccinations and defends our member’s [sic] ‘right to choose’ when it comes to personal medical decisions,” according to a statement signed by union President Stephen Doyle.
According to Doyle, the association already has an “extremely high” vaccination rate among members and believes any members who aren’t vaccinated by now have considered all the aspects in making their choice.
“To threaten these brave men and women who have fought on the front lines for nearly two years during this pandemic with termination if they do not comply is the literal definition of coercion,” it says.
Gov. Kate Brown earlier this month announced all Oregon health care workers – including first responders – will lose their jobs if they aren’t vaccinated by Oct. 18th.
COVID cases and hospitalizations are rapidly increasing across the state as the delta variant takes hold.
On Friday St. Charles reported 74 COVID patients; 15 are in the ICU and on ventilators.
It’s the first day this week that local hospitalizations haven’t increased.
You can read the full statement below.