Disease Isolates Eight Alameda Firefighters

The City of Alameda announced that eight additional Alameda firefighters were placed under quarantine on March 13 while they await their COVID-19 test results. 

The quarantine directive for the eight firefighters came after it was announced on March 10 that a separate, unidentified firefighter tested positive for the COVID-19 virus (“Alameda Firefighter Tests Positive for COVID-19” March 12 online exclusive). 

The firefighter has since been placed under quarantine and has been monitored by Alameda County Public Health Department officials. The officials also identified individuals, including eight additional firefighters, who may have been in contact with the infected firefighter and asked them to remain in isolation until their test results are revealed.

City of Alameda Public Information Officer Sarah Henry said that eight firefighters’ results were not known as of Tuesday, March 17, but the city is monitoring the situation. Henry would not disclose whether all eight firefighters worked together at the same fire station or which fire station or stations they worked at. She would also not disclose the names of the individuals. 

In a press release, Henry assured residents that the reduction in firefighters will not affect the response capability of the Alameda Fire Department (AFD).

“Alameda fire stations are fully staffed with no reduction in our capability to respond to calls,” wrote Henry. “Our first responders have the training and equipment they need to stay safe and protect our community. In addition, this week the Alameda Fire Department accelerated the swearing in of new recruits. These new firefighters are prepared and trained to protect and serve.”

AFD welcomed nine new firefighters on March 13, the day it was announced the eight firefighters would be under quarantine. Cody Boudwin, Nick Bowerman, Corey Crowder, Gustavo Lopez, Dan Martin, Nick Sprott, Jordan Thomas, Ryan Tunney and Morgan Yee were sworn in last Friday.

On Monday, March 16, six of the nine Bay Area counties declared a Public Health Order that requires residents to stay home for three weeks beginning Tuesday, March 17, except for “essential needs” or people who have “essential business” occupations. Along with healthcare providers, media members and senior care; firefighters are part of the essential occupations under the first responders, emergency management, personnel, emergency dispatchers section.