The Fire and Ambulance building in Cay Hill.
CAY HILL–A total of ten firefighters have now tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19 in this second wave, which prompted the Fire Department to go to double shifts. However, some firefighters may return to duty this week after having recovered from the disease.
On Sunday, Fire Chief Clive Richardson confirmed that five additional firefighters have tested positive. These cases are in addition to the five cases which were confirmed on August 18.
St. Maarten firefighters usually work a 24-hour shift followed by 48 hours off. However, with an undisclosed number of firefighters having to quarantine after coming into contact with the positive cases, firefighters were forced to work with only 24 hours off to compensate for being short staffed.
The department hopes to return to its normal rotation this week as some of the positive firefighters will return to duty after recovering from COVID-19, said Richardson. Some of the quarantined firefighters will also be available after spending two weeks at home without developing symptoms.
The Fire Department initiated its COVID-19 continuity plan earlier this month following reports of the first positive case. According to Richardson, the department has also reached out to undisclosed groups to supply volunteer firefighters in case the need arises.
“I am thankful for the firefighters that picked up the slack and still came out to work despite the situation. I wish all the firefighters at home fighting COVID-19 a speedy recovery,” said Richardson.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/10-firefighters-positive-some-to-return-to-duty