Wilmette Firefighters Immune to COVID-19?

First responders need to model safe behaviors for the public and reduce the risk of an outbreak within departments.

Wilmette firefighters standing in front of emergency vehicle without masks.Jeff Axelrod/Wilmette Watch


By Jeff Axelrod
May 16, 2020

On Thursday, a lightning strike caused a gas-main leak at 7th and Central. Throughout the day, Wilmette firefighters and Nicor gas employees worked to safely solve this dangerous situation. We are grateful for everyone’s hard work, especially during the bad weather.

These first responders, however, appeared unconcerned that we are in the midst of a still-growing global pandemic. Throughout the day, they were huddled together in close contact without wearing masks, despite the April 30th state executive order requiring face coverings in public settings and while working.

This raises many questions. What kind of example does this set for the public when our emergency workers don't feel the need to protect each other from the spread of COVID-19? What if this behavior results in an outbreak and our entire fire and police departments have been exposed? What does this say to local healthcare workers and others exposed on the frontline who are sacrificing daily to serve the public?

Masks are not for you. They are for everyone else. We are capable of spreading COVID19 before we are symptomatic. Wearing a mask is not only the right thing to do, but it's the law in Illinois.

Wilmette first responders need to set the example, follow the law, protect their community and each other.

The village of Wilmette could not be reached for comment.

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