HomeCity Government NewsCOVID Taxes SMFD Staffing Levels

COVID Taxes SMFD Staffing Levels

First published in the Feb. 17 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

The San Marino Fire Department had to impose critical staffing protocols in January due to an increase in COVID infections among its ranks, according to Fire Chief Mario Rueda.
Starting in late December 2021 through early January 2022, nine of the SMFD’s 18 authorized firefighter/paramedics were infected with COVID-19.
On Jan. 5, the SMFD was forced to impose critical staffing protocols to ensure public safety. Under the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health protocols, emergency medical services personnel who test positive for COVID-19 are not required to isolate if they are asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms. Personnel who do isolate may return to work as soon as symptoms clear and do not require a negative test. Several firefighters returned to work under this protocol to ensure the residents were protected., according to Rueda, and critical staffing protocols were terminated on Jan. 26.
Rueda said that the SMFD returned to normal operations shortly before that date and have continued that process ever since.
“We did have trouble filling our shifts for a brief time but the guys stepped up and filled in,” said Rueda. “They know how important it is to this community to be fully staffed. A couple of times we came pretty close, but we are always able to maintain a full staff.”
Rueda said that at any given time, there are seven SMFD employees on duty, including six firefighter-paramedics and a battalion chief.

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