Asheville firefighter vaccination rate higher than those surveyed who say they want it

Asheville firefighter vaccinations
Asheville Fire Captain Scott Mullins, right, is among the 58% of Asheville firefighters who have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine. At left, Senior Firefighter Wallace Sexton helps draw up a vaccine at Buncombe County’s mass vaccination site at Reynolds High Schools.


An Elon University poll released Feb. 9 shows that 12 percent of North Carolinians  say they have already received the COVID-19  vaccine and another 45 percent say they will get vaccinated once the shots are available to them. That’s an increase from 33 percent in favor of the vaccine in October and 40.5 percent in December.
Meanwhile, more than half of Asheville firefighters have already received it.


So far, 58% of Asheville firefighters have received the vaccine and more are expected to get vaccinated in coming weeks as the vaccine continues to be offered. Currently there are no firefighters with COVID and none in quarantine from a possible exposure.


Whether they are vaccinated or not, all first responders continue to follow the City’s COVID operations plan, which includes wearing personal protective equipment during all calls.


Kelley Klope vaccine
Asheville Fire Department Public Information Officer Kelley Klope recently got her second COVID-19 vaccine.

Firefighters work a dangerous job and COVID-19 has only made it more challenging. Who would have thought that we would be faced with a pandemic this time in the world? They often respond to emergencies where the patient has no idea they have COVID. That is why the Asheville Fire Department ensures that all firefighters have proper personal protective equipment — to include N95 masks — to wear for their safety, their families safety and the community’s safety.  Whether a firefighter receives a vaccine or not will not change this response protocol.  AFD will continue to follow recommendations from the CDC and Buncombe County Public Health Department.


The Asheville Fire Department knows how dangerous this pandemic is for our community and therefore is assisting Buncombe County at mass vaccination sites to ensure that those who want to get their vaccination can. Many Asheville firefighters are working on their days off to help  manage traffic, deliver the vaccine and support Buncombe County with any other needs to help  run the mass vaccination sites.

“I am very proud of our Asheville Firefighters for continuing to lead the way during this pandemic and once again being on the front lines ensuring the community gets their vaccines,” said Asheville Fire Chief Scott Burnette. ” We urge the general public to follow their lead so that the majority of the community will also get vaccinated.”