Boardman FD pulls through virus outbreak
BOARDMAN — Nearly two weeks after a COVID-19 outbreak within the Boardman Fire Department, almost everyone will be back to work through the weekend.
The good news was confirmed by fire Chief Mark Pitzer.
The decision by firefighters to follow guidelines and stay vigilant with protocol throughout the last several weeks helped make the process easier to handle, Pitzer said.
“If there is one word to describe our fire department, it’s resiliency,” he added.
It was the firefighters who extinguished the issue, he stressed.
“There’s nothing that I did to maintain and keep our fire department from collapsing during this crisis. It was our firefighters that were quarantined, (and those) that weren’t affected willing to step up” to make sure all three stations stayed open, Pitzer said.
“We identified the problem early on and did our best to put on additional protective measures,” Pitzer said, including wearing masks, additional sanitizing and staying in contact with everyone in quarantine as well as those working in the stations.
After tests and tracing were completed, 14 firefighters were in quarantine.
The department was down a total of 16 at one point from the virus, which is about half of the firefighting staff.
The strong will of the crew to continue keeping the community a priority “speaks volumes” not only of the Boardman department, but the firefighting field across the board, Pitzer said.