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Nebraska’s EMS teams to be among first to get COVID-19 vaccine

The Governor’s announcement Wednesday, comes as a relief to rural teams on the the front lines
Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 6:32 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts announced Wednesday, EMS teams will be added to the list of those who first receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and it comes as a relief to those on the front lines.

“It’s stressful for everyone involved,” said Karen Arp, who been a volunteer EMT for 36 years. Several weeks ago she contracted COVID-19 from a fellow volunteer. “I was very tired and I got worn out very easily,” said Arp.

She volunteers at Bennington Fire and Rescue where a handful of volunteers have tested positive or have been exposed to the virus, forcing to them to stay home.

“Which means they’re not able to respond and answer the calls,” said Dan Mallory, Fire Chief, Bennington Fire and Rescue. “So when the calls are coming up and we’re having those incidents we’re running short-staffed.” At times having to piece together response teams.

“Numerous departments have been working together to cover those types of calls to make sure everything gets answered as far as those 911-emergencies.” Making a vaccine that much more important.

“Having that vaccine available to us is going to help us get back to responding to our incidents and being able to handle our own stuff without having to rely on neighboring jurisdictions to help us out,” said Mallory, noting it will also help ease the minds of those putting themselves at risk.

“When the tone goes off it makes you stop and think when they say, ‘sick person’, you’re like, do I really want to go out and maybe contract it again?” said Arp. “But this is what i signed up for, and we all do it because we want to help our community.”

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