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Auburn Firefighters Oppose Mandatory Vaccine Requirement

The Valley Professional Firefighters Local IAFF 1352 (IAFF 1352) Executive Board issued a statement unanimously denouncing the new mandatory vaccination requirement. IAFF 1352 represents over 100 of Valley Regional Fire Authority’s EMS and Fire Services workers. VRFA serves Algona, Auburn, and Pacific.

Opposing Mandatory Vaccines

“There are currently no other mandatory vaccines required as a condition of employment for our members.
Although we encourage all of our members to get vaccinated, we firmly oppose mandating a medical

procedure without consent,” the Mandatory Vaccine Statement states.

The Executive Board clearly stated the reason for opposing the mandatory vaccine requirement. “We will not sit by with idle hands while our members’ careers, livelihoods, and personal choice are being threatened,” the statement reads. “This is about standing up for the rights of our members to choose which medical procedures they will take part in without coercion.”

As the EMS and Fire Services employee union, VRFA does not get involved in IAFF 1352 matters. VRFA Chief Brad Thompson shared the VRFA administrative team is working with IAFF 1352.

“Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14 clearly outlines that all health care providers, as a condition of employment, must be vaccinated by October 18. The VRFA’s firefighters are also EMTs, who are defined as health care providers and must follow the vaccination requirements set forth in the proclamation,” Thompson said. “We recognize this is a very challenging time and the VRFA administrative team is working collaboratively with IAFF L1352 as we navigate the effects of this requirement.”

Governor Inslee’s Mandatory Vaccine Requirement:

Governor Jay Inslee issued a COVID-19 vaccination requirement proclamation August 9, with an update August 21. This requirement requires all state agency workers, health care workers, and education workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, 2021. (read the full August 21 proclamation).

The portion of the requirement specific to IAFF 1352 and VRFA reads:

“Any Health Care Provider from failing to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 after October 18, 2021; and

d. Any individual or entity that operates a Health Care Setting from permitting a Health Care Provider to engage in work for the individual or entity as an employee, contractor, or volunteer after October 18, 2021 if the Health Care Provider has not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provided proof thereof to the individual or entity. Providers who do not work in a Health Care Setting must provide proof of vaccination to the operator of the facility in which the Provider works, if any, or, if requested, to a lawful authority. A lawful authority includes, but is not limited to, law enforcement, local health jurisdictions, and the state Department of Health.”

Full Executive Board Statement
Valley Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 1352 

the Valley Professional Firefighters Local IAFF 1352 logoIAFF Local 1352 represents over 100 men and women who compassionately provide EMS and Fire Services to the communities of Auburn, Pacific, and Algona, WA. The Executive Board of IAFF Local 1352 unanimously denounces the vaccine requirement that was announced for Washington State healthcare workers on August, 9th through “Proclamation 21-14 Vaccine Requirement,” by Governor Jay Inslee.

As an executive board, we acknowledge that research shows generally positive results for those who have
been vaccinated. We also strongly encourage our members to consider getting vaccinated if they have not
already done so. We are proud to say that a majority of our members have already been voluntarily
vaccinated.

There are currently no other mandatory vaccines required as a condition of employment for our members.
Although we encourage all of our members to get vaccinated, we firmly oppose mandating a medical
procedure without consent. Members of Local 1352 have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic
since day one. Our members have followed CDC, state and local health department guidelines to stay away
from work when having fever or symptoms of the virus. Additionally, Local 1352 members followed the
employers’ requirements for quarantine and isolation to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to the
community and other personnel. Now, our members who have worked tirelessly day in and day out for our
communities, may face termination if they do not choose to get the vaccine. These are the same members
who went into the homes of our sick community from the beginning of the pandemic without hesitation, putting the lives and health of the community as our top priority.

We have been and will continue to be fully supportive of safety measures that have been implemented to this
point. We have proven that we are strongly in support of working to end this pandemic; however, we
adamantly believe that our members should have the right to choose whether or not to consent to a medical
procedure. We will not sit by with idle hands while our members’ careers, livelihoods, and personal choice are being threatened. This is about standing up for the rights of our members to choose which medical procedures they will take part in without coercion.

We are defending our members’ right to make their own medical decisions. We will continue to do the same
when it comes to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination. We believe vaccination or termination is wrong, unethical, and an insult to the men and women of this Local.”

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