YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown FIre Chief Barry FInley is taking measures to protect firefighters from the coronavirus.
In a news release today, Finley announced that, as of 4 p.m. today (March 19), YFD will restrict all public access to fire stations, and there will be no fire inspections performed on any buildings.
The announcement follows a letter to Finley from Charlie Smith, Youngstown Professional Firefighters Local 312 president, requesting guidance in response to the crisis.
“We recognize that the situation we are faced with is unprecedented and constantly changing, but we are looking to you for the leadership required to safely get through it together,” Smith wrote on Tuesday.
In the letter, Smith requested that the chief suspend public relations programs and adopt the International Association of Fire Chiefs Guide for Coronavirus Planning and Response.
The guide details best practices for dispatching, protective gear, equipment cleaning and quarantine.
Smith cited an incident in Columbus, in which a firefighter was exposed to the virus and tested positive, resulting in the quarantine of 31 firefighters.
“I certainly don’t need to tell you that a similar situation at YFD would cripple this department and render us unable to provide public safety at the level that our citizens deserve,” Smith wrote.
If the public has questions or needs a fire report, call the station at 330-747-7403, ext. 0.