COVID-19 Outbreak Completely Shuts Down Florida Firehouse

(WPLG Local 10, YouTube)

Station 20 in Overland Park closed
due to virus

FirefighterNation Staff

OAKLAND PARK, Florida — WPLG reports that a firefighter at Oakland Park Fire Department Station 20 is concerned that he and his fellow firefighters are getting sick due to the COVID-19 and he wants to know what is being done about it.

WPLG asked Firefighter Michael Espada if he was concerned about retaliation for speaking about the firehouse closing.

“No, I’m more worried about the brothers and sisters I work with, and the citizens that I, maybe, infected,” Espada told WPLG reporter Layron Livingston.

Espada has been with the department for 17 years, working out of Station 20.

He told Livingston that he went home on July 16 with a fever, aches and a cough. Days later he tested positive for COVID-19.

Due to a surge in cases across one shift, 19 firefighters are quarantined at home with COVID-19. A total of 56 firefighters work out of the city’s three firehouses.

Oakland Park Fire Chief Steve Krivjanik told WPLG that firehouses are sanitized at least once a week, and apparatus are taken out of service for disinfecting after every COVID-19 call.

“To the best of my knowledge, we are still cleaning our own stations and obviously that has not been a sufficient practice because too many members have fallen sick,” said Chief Krivjanik. “I think that we have done a yeoman’s job on the cleaning, the providing of PPE, the sanitizing.”

As for concerns about delayed response times, Chief Krivjanik said there are mutual aid agreements in place with five neighboring fire departments.

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