Today, over 300 firefighters are in quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19, a new record number for the Houston Fire Department. The number of firefighters unavailable to report for duty further reduces the availability of personnel and creates an extreme strain on the department.
 
The HFD planned to keep every regular unit in the department staffed during the pandemic. Mayor Sylvester Turner has authorized increased overtime compensation to mitigate the staffing shortfall.
But sidelining over 300 firefighters to the Coronavirus quarantine on top of a staffing shortage caused by the cancellation of FY19 recruit classes due to Proposition B, and higher than normal attrition has strained our personnel availability.
The safety and wellbeing of all Houstonians and the firefighters who serve them is my priority. We will use all available regular and overtime staffing to offset the number of firefighters in quarantine as we continue working to maintain operations. I want to acknowledge our firefighters who are tirelessly working multiple shifts and alternate work positions to ensure Houstonians are protected.
We will respond when called, but I also encourage citizens to help us by following health and safety protocols during the current public health crisis. Please wear a mask, physical distance and wash your hands. Do not use fireworks during the July 4th holiday weekend because they can cause fires and create an additional strain on our resources.
Author: David TatchinEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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