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Kingsley Field firefighters union voices opposition to Oregon vaccine mandate

Kingsley Field Fire Department / Facebook

IAFF Local 3340 released a statement on Monday declaring that they 'respectfully stand in firm opposition' to the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

Posted: Aug 30, 2021 11:49 AM
Updated: Aug 31, 2021 11:05 AM

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — The union representing firefighters for the Kingsley Field airbase near Klamath Falls released a statement on Monday declaring that they "respectfully stand in firm opposition" to Oregon's vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

IAFF Local 3340, the Kingsley Fire Fighters Association, said that other unions representing first responders and medical professionals have issued statements in opposition to the vaccine mandates, and they strongly stand in agreement with "not only our sisters and brothers, but all public service employees that believe in the individuals 'right to choose.'"

The Oregon Nurses Association, the state's largest nursing union, put out a more mixed response earlier this month — acknowledging that the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers will likely increase vaccination rates, but will also exacerbate the existing staffing crisis.

"We know Oregon’s registered nurses and nurse practitioners have already achieved a high rate of vaccination," the ONA said in a statement. "We also know that some health care workers are deeply opposed to vaccine mandates; so deeply that some will leave the profession before accepting a mandate."

IAFF Local 3340 said that they trust their members and know that they will continue to serve the community safely "despite their personal immunization status."

"As first responders we can attest to the many challenges this pandemic has brought on, no one is denying that," the union said. "Collectively, as a team, we respectfully stand in firm opposition of this vaccine mandate. We believe in bodily autonomy, civil liberties, and a person’s individual right to make their own medical decisions.

"This mandate sets a dangerous precedent and should be concerning to all. Our collective opposition to this mandate is not about politics, COVID-19, or a vaccine itself. It’s about stripping individuals of a basic American freedom, our right as individuals to make personal medical choices."

Data from the Oregon Health Authority indicates that vaccination rates vary widely in the healthcare sector, both by field and by license type. Generally speaking, vaccination rates are quite high among doctors and nurses — particularly nurse practitioners (80%), medical doctors (88%), and dentists (95%). They are considerably lower among paramedics (66%), EMTs (61%), and other licensees in the emergency medical services.

Statewide, some of the very lowest vaccination rates in healthcare are among naturopaths (60%) and chiropractors (52%).

Governor Kate Brown's mandate requires that healthcare workers, K-12 teachers and staff, and many state employees certify that they are fully vaccinated by October 18. This includes all EMS providers, according to the Oregon Health Authority. The only exemptions are for medical reasons or for a "sincerely held religious belief."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 345344

Reported Deaths: 4084
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54651678
Washington37724310
Marion35705439
Clackamas28835298
Lane26661291
Jackson22465297
Deschutes19252122
Umatilla14081139
Linn12200114
Douglas11664238
Josephine9174191
Yamhill8438108
Klamath7549106
Polk707380
Malheur542374
Benton521531
Coos481591
Columbia368143
Jefferson355650
Union309944
Lincoln306033
Wasco275839
Crook263643
Clatsop238027
Baker195628
Tillamook191926
Hood River186036
Morrow180223
Curry177019
Harney106424
Grant96512
Lake86910
Wallowa65712
Gilliam1484
Sherman1453
Wheeler941
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 4802761

Reported Deaths: 70456
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147341026379
Riverside3689534978
San Diego3631694151
San Bernardino3558485562
Orange3224975513
Sacramento1574982273
Santa Clara1443001886
Fresno1437452048
Kern1437161600
Alameda1197741365
San Joaquin1016431696
Ventura1004421162
Contra Costa99102969
Stanislaus849231310
Tulare78753945
San Francisco53974644
San Mateo53781618
Monterey50676582
Solano45734334
Santa Barbara44770518
Merced41680577
Sonoma40638400
Placer38813412
Imperial35591762
Kings32197312
San Luis Obispo29590330
Madera23420281
Butte23298257
Shasta23230334
Santa Cruz20830217
Yolo20092247
Marin17570243
El Dorado16947149
Sutter13762169
Napa12797100
Yuba992780
Tehama9240103
Humboldt9085108
Nevada902590
Mendocino751686
Lassen743743
San Benito735972
Tuolumne671793
Lake6499103
Amador536763
Siskiyou442742
Glenn429930
Calaveras380279
Del Norte355739
Colusa301618
Inyo194239
Mono16285
Plumas15476
Mariposa126215
Trinity85811
Modoc6678
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Unassigned1480
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