REDMOND, WA – Currently, approximately two dozen firefighters in Redmond, Washington risk losing their jobs next month if they don’t comply with Governor Jay Inslee’s vaccination mandate.
According to them, the City said originally that they would honor the religious exemptions and allow them to be still employed. But now, they say the City is walking back those statements.
Mitchell Pearson, one of the firefighters whose job is in limbo, spoke Tuesday at a City Council meeting. He said, “The men and women of the Redmond Fire Department that are currently in this position do not want to lose their careers. They want to work hard for the City.”
Brian Robillard, who has served with Redmond Fire for 28 years, said during the meeting, “The City of Redmond has the ability to honor their negotiated agreement and allows us to serve the citizens of Redmond just as we have since this all started.”
The mandates hurt our communities.
If firefighter numbers dwindle, we all will be less safe.https://t.co/fuKtwWhlaP
— Family Policy Institute of WA (@FPIW) September 23, 2021
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Robillard’s wife, Tracy, spoke to local news outlets. She said, “It’s sad. That’s his life. It’s been his life. It’s been our life. I take pride in saying that my husband’s a firefighter.”
Sophie Pearson told news outlets, “It just feels like they are saying, well too bad we can’t help you, and good luck on your next endeavor.”
The City of Redmond is not commenting other than to say they are following state guidelines.
Family members of the firefighters say that they jumped through hoops to obtain the City of Redmond’s religious exemption, and now they may not even be honoring them.
Sknge Alsin, the mother of a firefighter, said, “For us to even contemplate to fire any of these heroes, shame on us. We should keep every job intact.”
The Redmond Fire Department currently employs about 164 full-time employees.
This piece was written by Leah Anaya on September 23, 2021. It originally appeared in RedVoiceMedia.com and is used by permission.
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