Wilmington firefighters help vaccinate homebound residents and seniors
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Members of the Wilmington Fire Department have taken on the task of administering COVID-19 vaccines in the city, thanks to a partnership with the New Hanover County Health Department, emergency services, and the county fire department.
The COVID-19 Strike Team started vaccinating homebound residents and seniors in February, after receiving training to provide the at-home service. So far, they’ve given shots of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine to nearly 160 seniors.
“We are hoping to continue this program until all of the folks within meals on wheels and the special needs registry have been served, or at least contacted, and get them that opportunity,” said Audrey Hart, New Hanover Emergency Management Specialist.
Firefighters used to being on the frontlines, now going door-to-door to administer the vaccine to those who need it.
“I think the biggest thing we see is relief, joy, but mostly relief that they feel that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel. People haven’t left their houses, people can’t leave their homes, which is why we’re going into their homes and helping them get vaccinated, and giving them some semblance of a normal life again. ” said Daniel Garay, WFD Master Firefighter.
Another firefighter, who recently joined the team, says he is thankful for the opportunity to help.
“To see how the system is working here, and to see that the fire department is involved, is awesome,” said Kalen Jack, WFD Firefighter. “You know, it’s really cool that the state of North Carolina has allowed us to receive training and to be able to administer these vaccines and hopefully, you know, speed up this process and make it more efficient.”