On Monday, Dallas Fire-Rescue and the Dallas Fire Fighters Association reported a total of 31 members of the department had been quarantined due to COVID-19 infection. The DFFA reported that 21 firefighters have active COVID-19 cases as of Monday, and 10 other members have been recently exposed to the virus.
DFFA President Jim McDade is worried that the recent surge in infections might lead to staff shortages in the department.
The departments are also handicapped by Governor Abbott’s executive order that prohibits state entities and other entities from receiving state funding from mandating masks and vaccines. McDade, however, said that the department is examining the legality of the governor’s executive order.
“There are legal questions regarding how the governor’s orders will affect us since the city cannot mandate that we wear masks or order protocols with masks involved,” McDade said. “There could be some unintended consequences with staffing with his executive action.”
McDade admitted that the governor’s order allows firefighters to wear masks while responding to a call but said grey areas regarding the firehouse where firefighters reside while on duty are still a concern.
“There would need to be a substantial uptick in cases, but with the Delta variant, this looks like it’s coming back,” McDade said. “We have 21 active cases right now, and a few weeks ago, we didn’t have any. So, that’s very concerning.”