Imagine that you are an elderly resident of Warrenton, have fallen and dialed 911 for help. Do you really want an unvaccinated volunteer fireman huffing and puffing in your face as he tries to assist you? If you just broke your hip you shouldn’t also have to worry for a couple of weeks about whether the first responder has given you COVID-19.

Masked or unmasked, tested or untested, vaccinated or not, no measure is foolproof against COVID 19. However, the data shows that unvaccinated individuals have a much higher chance of getting and transmitting the virus. Unvaccinated volunteer firemen who answer medical emergencies put the people they are helping, as well as themselves and their own families, at greater risk.

It's time for fire chiefs to meet individually with the volunteers who are threatening to resign and find out why they don’t want to get vaccinated. Free from the peer pressure of herd mentality and machismo, some may realize their commitment to helping people outweighs their reason not to take the vaccine.

The volunteers who decide that they value their personal freedom or political stance above helping the community should be thanked for their service and encouraged to follow through with resignation. As they are headed out the door, they should be reminded that they are hurting the community they supposedly wanted to help, and that any negative outcomes resulting from the emergency situation they are fomenting will be on them.