UPDATED: Eight Township firefighters exposed to COVID-19 now back at work

Online comments suggest the firefighters were not tested for COVID-19 but directed to self-isolate

Langley Township firefighters exposed to COVID-19 after attending a call to help a man in medical distress, are now back at work.

Township Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) information officer Steve Scheepmaker confirmed the involved firefighters were cleared to start work again in late March.

Eight were initially exposed after responding to a medical call in Murrayville on March 9 to help a the man who later tested positive for COVID-19, said Township deputy fire chief Bruce Ferguson.

The man’s condition is not known, he noted.

The firefighters were immediately directed to self-isolate upon hearing the man’s diagnosis.

As of this week, all of the workers are back at work performing regular hours, said Scheepmaker.

Scheepmaker confirmed “the firefighters were not tested for COVID-19 but rather, were cleared to return back to work after precautionary self-isolation measures were complete.” 

The Township worked closesly with Fraser Health throughout the ordeal, said Ferguson.

RELATED: Langley Township firefighters in self-isolation after COVID-19 exposure

Contrary to what the public is hearing, firefighters have the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to respond to calls, Ferguson continued.

“If the BC ambulance is not on scene when we arrive we will wait for them to come and then they will enter the premises first and determine whether or not they need our assistance,” Ferguson explained. “If they need our assistance we will don the appropriate PPE and go in and assist them as required.”

This is the first incident of COVID-19 exposure with Township fire, Ferguson told the Langley Advance Times in March.

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