Spokane County Fire Marshals Vote to Allow Accommodation for Firefighters


Spokane County 8 Fire District Commissioners meet

SPOKANE, Wash .– Spokane County 8 District Fire Commissioners have voted to welcome a firefighter who chooses not to be vaccinated. In September, the district initially said it could not accommodate the firefighter.

Under Governor Jay Inslee’s vaccination mandate, firefighters are included in the requirement. Firefighter Cory Miles has an approved religious exemption, which means he doesn’t have to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Because the district said it couldn’t donate housing, Miles got a letter of intent to separate. This sparked a reaction from other firefighters and community members at a meeting of the fire marshals on September 28.

The fire marshals did not make a decision at the time, saying they had to consult their lawyers.

In a meeting on October 12, Chief Lonnie Rash said based on the facts, public testimony and the impact on responses, they determined there would be no termination. and that accommodations would be available.

However, details of the accommodations are not yet known. Rash said the accommodation “would ensure public safety, member safety and the preservation of automatic aid.”

The district will have to determine the accommodations in collaboration with the union and if there are negotiable impacts. Rash said some accommodations could include wearing an N-95 mask during work and routine testing.

The fire district has 42 full-time firefighters. All have provided proof of vaccination except Miles.

RELATED: Spokane County Firefighter’s Vaccine Waiver Approved, But He Could Still Lose His Job

READ: Exemptions, but no accommodations: Unvaccinated firefighters call warrant a ‘personal attack’

RELATED: Spokane Valley Fire Department Maintains All Its Firefighters With Vaccine Exemptions

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