Cuyahoga Falls firefighters/paramedics receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Phil Keren
Kent Weeklies
Cuyahoga Falls firefighter/paramedic Kenneth Facemire receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Fire Chief Fred Jackson said a "majority" of his employees received the vaccine between Dec. 26 and 31.

CUYAHOGA FALLS — Many city firefighters/paramedics have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Cuyahoga Falls Fire Chief Fred Jackson said the "majority" of the fire department's 73 full-time firefighters/paramedics received the first dose of the vaccine, but added he has not yet received a report listing specifically how many received the shot.

Jackson said his employees received vaccinations from Dec. 26 through 31.

Cuyahoga Falls Police Chief Jack Davis said he has not been notified about when his officers will be vaccinated.

Mayor Don Walters said the city's firefighters and police officers are "strongly encouraged, but not mandated" to receive the vaccination.

"It is debatable whether an employer can legally mandate any type of vaccine for their employees," said Walters. "However, my goal is for everyone to stay as healthy as possible.”

The mayor praised the work being done by the city's first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our first responders are doing a phenomenal job … and their health and safety, as well as that of the public we serve, remains my top priority,” Walters said.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at pkeren@thebeaconjournal.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.