Letters to the Editor: I was a firefighter. The anti-vaccine LAFD members should resign

A fire department captain rolls up a sleeve to receive a COVID-19 shot.
A Los Angeles Fire Department captain receives a COVID-19 shot from an LAFD paramedic in December 2020.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I have been a member of the fire service for more than 45 years both as a firefighter and in training and education. I am appalled by the members of the Los Angeles Fire Department fighting the city’s COVID-19 vaccine rule.

The childish rant by the L.A. captain was over the top. I educated and trained thousands of firefighters over my career, and every one of them has had to prove they were vaccinated in order to get hired and to become a paramedic. Being in the fire service is front-line work, and other firefighters are dying because of people like this anti-vaccine captain.

If you do not want to protect your “customers,” the citizens, by refusing to be vaccinated against a disease that has killed more than 650,000 Americans and dozens of your brothers and sisters in the fire service, then resign immediately and give the job to someone who will do the right thing.


Marty Walsh, Lakeside, Calif.


To the editor: LAFD and Los Angeles Police Department personnel should live in either the city of Los Angeles or elsewhere in the county. Why should firefighters like Capt. Cristian Granucci pay taxes as residents of Texas or other states when their salaries are paid by people who live in Los Angeles? (“More than 100 L.A. firefighters live outside California. Will the city crack down?” column, Sept. 8)

It’s time for these firefighters and police officers to move back to Los Angeles or resign.

The members of these departments should also wear masks while on duty and be required to get vaccinated or pay for their own COVID-19 tests. Otherwise, they risk infecting the pubic that they are sworn to serve and protect.

Donna McQuery, Van Nuys


To the editor: I worked as a registered nurse for many years. I was once called at 2 a.m. to come in as the hospital experienced a power failure in the section where the intensive care unit was located and patients were being moved to the other building.

The hospital needed ICU nurses to manage the patients right now, not hours from now. So of course I got up, made a pot of coffee to take with me and went in to care for a patient on a ventilator. Other ICU nurses came in as well.

Most physicians live near the hospital where their patients go so they can get in quickly when needed.

Our first responders need to be within an hour’s drive of work so they can respond to emergencies. That next big earthquake will leave many obstacles to travel; the fewer for first responders, the better.

Suzanne Brugman, La Habra Heights


To the editor: We should ask whether it’s OK for Los Angeles to employ so many firefighters who live outside California. Another good question is, why are we spending $220 million on overtime for L.A. firefighters?

My math skills have not been used much as of late, but wouldn’t $220 million pay for quite a lot of regular-time firefighters? That money would fund a few hundred more souls on the front lines who would give their best to ensure the safety of every resident.

Jaci Cuddy, Long Beach


To the editor: Steve Lopez notes in his column that some unvaccinated firefighters claim immunity because they were already infected with COVID-19.

Well, my daughter’s boyfriend thought he had the virus and had the same opinion. He got sick a couple of weeks ago and was very ill this time. In addition, he gave COVID-19 to his niece, who lives with his family.

Those who were hired to provide emergency aid to the public but shun the vaccine are putting everyone with whom they come in contact at risk. This is not what one would expect from those we thought had the public’s best interest at heart.

Linda Cowell, Ventura