Staff, Volunteers and citizens,
I have been in the fire service for 28 years and have been so fortunate over my career that words cannot express. Over the past 28 years, I have experienced outbreaks, fires, storms, death, destruction, perseverance, and resilience. The fire service is a great occupation that has come at great sacrifice to myself and to my family, but the rewards of helping others in need has been the opportunity of a lifetime.
We have all dealt with many challenges over the past few years, whether it be fires, pandemic or ice storms. Luckily, for us in the fire service, we are always up to the challenge and we always come out on top. Today, however, is different.
Governor Kate Brown has announced that first line responders will now be required to receive a “vaccine.” Previously it was announced that those of us who chose not to get the vaccine would have the option to test. This option has now been taken away.
During the pandemic, first responders were hailed as heroes. We were the first ones to deal with patients that were suffering from issues, whether COVID or other illness or injury. We have gone from being heroes to now becoming too dangerous to employ without a “vaccine.”
This mandate is un-American, as our State government has been weaponized to the point where people are afraid to take a stand. I will no longer sit silently on the sideline and watch this happen. I love my job, I love the fire service, and more importantly, I love the people that I work with and serve. I am required to enforce this mandate by October 18th, 2021 or when the “vaccine” receives full authorization.
I will not abide by the Governor's mandate. Additionally, I will not enforce this mandate on any member of this fire district. In the old America, we used to have choices. Frankly, I do not recognize the country that I live in right now.
I recently sent out a survey to the staff and volunteers of our District. You need to be aware that 25% of the members of the Aurora Fire District have informed me that they will quit if forced to receive a “vaccine.” This survey was sent out while we still had the option to test. Now that the option to test is gone, I have reason to believe 25% of our personnel quitting is dramatically underestimated. Within these numbers, we are faced with the potential of nearly half of the career staff leaving. A decrease in membership to our already short handed cadre of staff and volunteers will have devastating results and will negatively impact our ability to respond. These staff and volunteer responders that will quit are the same ones that have been safely responding to emergencies throughout the duration of this pandemic.
Before you begin thinking I am a conspiracy theorist, or an anti vaxxer, please consider the following. I support my vaccinated and unvaccinated members equally. The “vaccine” is not the issue. Please take out the word “vaccination” and insert any other medical procedure or medication. These choices are better left between an individual and their physician.
We have policies and procedures in place that have kept our members and our public safe from COVID for the past 18 months. We have responded to many COVID patients and have never experienced an outbreak among our personnel. We have never had any of our personnel pass COVID throughout the District. We know how to keep ourselves and the public safe, we have been doing it for years. The Governor's new mandate will make our residents less safe. If she is so worried about the lack of responders now, I'll stand by and see what happens with this ridiculous and intrusive requirement.
I have asked the Aurora Fire District Board of Directors to stand up for medical freedom, and to stand up for America. I have asked the Aurora Fire District Board of Directors to support me and my decision. I want to continue working for the Aurora Fire District, but I have had it with the shifting goal posts and government overreach. I will NEVER force a member of this fire district to inject themselves with anything that they do not want.
I will never quit advocating for my people and for what is right. What is happening is wrong, and I will not enforce it. Should the Aurora Board of Directors choose, they would need to terminate me from my employment as your Fire Chief before I would enforce this intrusive requirement.
Joshua L. Williams
|Post Date: 2021-08-28 07:20:42||Last Update: 2022-01-01 18:12:45|