Violet Township Fire Department to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to homebound residents

Nate Ellis
ThisWeek group
Mike Little, fire chief

Violet Township firefighters will try to help to stem the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus throughout Fairfield County by providing vaccinations to homebound residents and those who don’t have access to other clinics.

The Violet Township Fire Department, the Fairfield County Health Department and the Fairfield County Emergency Management Agency are completing plans to provide the  vaccinations.

At the heart of the plan is the VTFD, whose leadership volunteered to drive to 30 to 45 county residents who are homebound or don’t have the ability to travel to vaccination clinics in their areas.

County EMA Director Jon Kochis said the VTFD was enlisted after firefighters with the department exhibited proficiency in handling the vaccinations and administering them to their own staff, as well as to residents at community vaccine clinics.  

“They were really top notch on all of that,” Kochis said. “I think that was partly the reason why the health department approached Violet to take this on because they have the ability and they’ve shown that they can handle this vaccine and be very careful with its administration.”

If emergency-medial service providers in the city of Lancaster administer the vaccines to homebound residents in Lancaster, the number of vaccinations VTFD firefighters will deliver is expected to be around 30, Kochis said. He added that could include residents living in the Fairfield County portions of Canal Winchester and Reynoldsburg.

“The board of health’s policy has been that if you’re a Fairfield County resident, you are able to get the vaccine with us, regardless of what health department your (municipality) contracts with,” Kochis said.  

VTFD Chief Mike Little said March 8 that specifics about who will receive the vaccinations, and when, will come from the health department.

With the exception of Lancaster, he expects VTFD firefighters to travel throughout the county to administer the vaccines.

“We are in the process of coordinating this with the county EMA and the county health department,” Little said.

In transporting the vaccines, VTFD staff will abide by guidelines for keeping medications at appropriate temperatures, Little said.

“There was no discussion of that (reimbursement). We see this as more of a community-minded event and trying to get the vaccination out there.

“There is documentation that is required by the federal government. It must be completed and returned to the health department for entry into the national database within 24 hours of the vaccination.”

Violet Township won’t be reimbursed for the cost of transportation or administration of the vaccines.

Little told the Violet Township trustees March 3 he believed the VTFD could afford the expenses it will take to deliver the doses.

“There was no discussion about (reimbursement),” Little said. “We see this as more of a community-minded event and getting things done and trying to get the vaccination out there.”

nellis@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekNate