More than a dozen Victoria firefighters will be joining the fight to extinguish COVID-19.

Announced on Thursday, July 22nd, the City of Victoria said that 14 local firefighters have successfully qualified to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

“Victoria firefighters always step up in times of need,” said Mayor Lisa Helps.

“It’s not at all surprising that their commitment to public safety extends to helping the community continue to hit the high vaccination rates needed to make it to the other side of the pandemic.”

The announcement comes after Island Health requested help to fill staffing shortfalls.

Council approved the agreement and now qualified and trained firefighters are eligible to vaccinate the public.

These firefighters can now schedule shifts to administer COVID-19 vaccines that work around their current schedules.

The Fraser Health Region and Vancouver Coastal Health Region have also adopted a similar approach.

“As first responders, firefighters are highly trained and ready to do all they can to protect the public,” said Acting Fire Chief, Daniel Atkinson.

“Helping to get more people vaccinated sooner is a meaningful way we can protect public safety and support the important work Island Health is doing to keep us all healthy.”

Island Health intends to reimburse costs associated with the project to the City of Victoria.

Last week, over one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were reported to have been distributed on Vancouver Island.

In addition, 81.2% of all eligible adults in BC have received their first dose and 60.2% have received their second dose.

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