Nine of the 16 members of the Springville Fire Department have received the COVID-19 vaccine, including Fire Chief Richard Hardy.
According to Hardy, the department was told by UAB they were among the first in the state to receive the vaccine. UAB also said that Lt. Dennis Putnam of the Springville Fire Department was the first firefighter to receive it in Alabama.
They received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Some members of the department received their first dose as early as before Christmas. Some, such as Hardy, go back for their second dose in mid-January.
“We were very early. We were notified and responded pretty quickly,” Hardy said.
Hardy further added that none of them have had any symptoms other than what is typical for a vaccine, with some soreness after the shot.
Members of the department are treating the pandemic seriously, especially after seeing an increased call volume among Covid patients, with more patients going to the hospital for Covid-related issues.
“It is the real deal. It has affected families left and right,” Hardy said. “The thing about the virus is it affects one person differently than it affects another person.”
All 16 members of the department are eligible for the vaccine. However, it is not mandatory to receive it.