BROOKLINE — Chief John Sullivan announces that the Brookline Fire Department has temporarily closed one of its stations out of an abundance of caution after a member of the department began to exhibit symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
Following protocol, the Brookline Fire Department conducted temperature checks on all of its on-duty members at the change of shift Monday morning. One member, working at Station 5, 49 Babcock St., had an elevated temperature at the end of his shift, went home and subsequently reported a further increase in their temperature.
As a precaution, the department required the other seven members of the department who worked on shift with the symptomatic individual to self quarantine pending the results of testing for COVID-19 on the symptomatic member. Additionally, four other members who had second-hand contact with that member have also been asked to self quarantine pending the member’s test results.
Station 5 was closed following the shift change and will be re-opened later tomorrow after the station, equipment and apparatus are thoroughly disinfected. Two reserve companies were activated at 8 p.m. Monday and are being housed at other stations in town, ensuring the department is appropriately staffed.
“While we can’t say for sure right now whether our member has contracted this illness, there’s no doubt that our members — and first responders everywhere — are on the front lines of the fight against this pandemic,” Chief Sullivan said. “We have introduced several policy and procedure changes meant to protect our firefighters and residents alike as we continue to serve the community during this challenging time.”
As part of its adapted policies and procedures due to COVID-19, the department routinely checks the body temperatures of on-shift members at the beginning, middle and end of each shift.