SMFD helps with rollout across county
By Chad Winthrop
Beginning this month , Santa Monica Fire Department firefighters and paramedics were among the first fire departments in Southern California to be offered the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine.
“This is a critical milestone in keeping all frontline medical personnel safe as they prepare for an increase in the number of cases across the county, which is occurring as local hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients,” the City said in a press release.
In addition to SMFD frontline personnel receiving the vaccine, SMFD leadership helped the roll out of the vaccine to 20 fire departments across Los Angeles County. The effort was coordinated by an Incident Management Team (IMT) comprised of experienced fire chiefs and supported by the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency.
“The Santa Monica Fire Department is working hard every day to protect the safety, health, and wellbeing of our community,” said Fire Chief Bill Walker. “It is critical that we ensure our Firefighters are available to respond to all emergencies and by getting vaccinated, we hope to keep them ready and available throughout this pandemic.”
The planning effort is led by Tom Clemo, serving as the IMT Planning Section Chief, who also serves as Deputy Chief with the Santa Monica Fire Department. Chief Silvio Lanzas, who serves as the Fire Chief of the Glendale Fire Department, is the Operations Chief, coordinating the movement of the vaccinations to firefighters across the region, which is organized into Central, Foothill and Beach Divisions.
The Santa Monice Fire Department is the first City of Santa Monica department to receive the vaccine. Distribution to other frontline workers will occur in the coming weeks and months aligned with State of California guidance on vaccine prioritization.