UPDATE | March 31, 2020 | 12:48 p.m.
INDIANAPOLIS — As of noon Tuesday, eleven firefighters with the Indianapolis Fire Department have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Batallion Chief Rita Reith.
The firefighters who tested positive are quarantined at home and will not return to work until they’ve been medically cleared by a doctor, Reith said.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Nine firefighters with the Indianapolis Fire Department have tested positive for COVID-19, the department confirmed Monday.
The firefighters who tested positive are quarantined at home and will not return to work until they have been medically cleared by a doctor, the department said.
The crews who work with the infected firefighters on their apparatus or at their station or who may have had close contact with the firefighters will be using the testing offered by Eli Lilly & Co. Once the results are received, Indianapolis Fire Department will act in accordance with the consultation of public health officials, the department said.
As a matter of perspective, there are more than 1,200 IFD firefighters working at 43 stations across the city.
News 8 also reached out to Indianapolis Professional Firefighters Local 416, the union which represents 10 agencies across Marion County.
Union President Hank Harris said the union has no problem with the way this has been handled. He meets daily with the fire chief and mayor’s office to make sure everyone is handling this unprecedented situation as safely as they can. For now, he said, all departments are responding and operating as they did before the pandemic.
Harris was unavailable to meet Monday night but answered some of our questions via email.
“Obviously we are concerned for all of our members’ health and safety, and the health and safety of our members’ family,” Harris said by email. “I feel everyone, from the Mayor to City Leaders to Chiefs to the firefighters and medics on the streets, are doing their best during this stressful time to provide the tools to our members to continue to be able to provide the best service to the community.”
On Friday, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department confirmed that four police officers had tested positive for the virus and were quarantined at home.