Vaccine mandates could lead to the valley losing a significant portion of it's firefighters, EMT's and Paramedics. That's what the Yakima Firefighters union is saying in a letter to Governor Jay Inslee.

UNION OFFICIALS SAY YAKIMA COULD LOSE MANY PROFESSIONALS

The Yakima Firefighters International Association of Firefighters Local 469 has posted the letter on Facebook asking the governor to reconsider a vaccine mandate for firefighters, EMT'S and Paramedics in the State of Washington.Union officials say they're concerned the mandate could lead to mass layoffs or resignations. Governor Jay Inslee announced the vaccine mandate on August 9 for all Firefighters, Paramedics and EMT's.  All must be fully vaccinated by October 1. However in a letter to the Governor posted on the union Facebook page union officials say they disagree with the mandate. https://www.facebook.com/Yakima.Firefighters

NOT ALL FIREFIGHTERS, EMT'S AND PARAMEDICS WANT THE VACCINE

They say for the last 2 years they've worked on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19 with inadequate funding and equipment but they've still been able to work. The letter signed by the union president and Chiefs from the West Valley and Selah Fire Departments says while most Firefighters, EMT's and Paramedics have been vaccinated some are against the vaccine. The governor says those who don't get vaccinated may lose jobs. Union officials that's a big concern because the valley could lose a "significant" portion of Firefighters and other professionals leaving many communities very vulnerable.

UNION OFFICIALS ARE ASKING FOR WEEKLY TESTING INSTEAD OF VACCINE

They say they don't believe that was the aim of the vaccine mandate. Instead of being forced to vaccinate they're asking the governor for weekly testing as an alternative. There's been no response yet from Governor Jay Inslee's office. The letter is posted on the Union Facebook page.

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