TVF&R begins COVID-19 vaccinations
Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue began vaccinating the first of its front-line personnel of firefighters and paramedics against COVID-19 on Sunday, an endeavor that will continue throughout the week.
The fire district, which provides services for an almost 400-square-mile service area, administered 63 doses of the Moderna vaccine at its South Operating Center/Station No. 56, both in Wilsonville, according to Cassandra Ulven, TVF&R public affairs chief.
In partnership with county health partners, TVF&R will move on to vaccinate partners such as law enforcement officers and other essential city and county workers in coming weeks and months, according to news release from the fire district.
Paramedic Megan Rye, who works out of TVF&R Station 21 in Newberg, was TVF&R's first vaccine recipient.
"I feel great," said Rye, who has been a paramedic since 2007 and joined TVF&R in 2017. "I'm excited for the opportunity to get it and excited to start protecting our residents. It just provides everyone a little bit of hope in a time that's not the greatest. I think it will give me a little more confidence when treating patients."
Last week, TVF&R announced they had received an initial round of 1,000 Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses from the Oregon Health Authority with plans to vaccinate more than 550 employees as well as city and county partners to support the vaccination of first responders in the Group 1a category established by the State of Oregon.
Paramedic Jesse Gonzalez, who also received the vaccine Sunday, said he was relieved but wasn't letting his guard down.
"Having some assurance that we're protected is a huge deal for us and the community, but we're still wearing masks inside the stations," he said. "We keep six feet of distance and are taking every precaution as if we didn't have the vaccine."
Fire Chief Deric Weiss, who was present to celebrate Sunday's vaccination kickoff, said it was a long time coming.
"For me to see the first few people go through, it's a culmination of all the hard work by the men and women across the organization. They're excited and they're encouraged about the future now. There's a lot of work ahead, but today's a good day."
(This story corrects the location of the station where paramedic Mgan Rye works.)
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