Valdosta police and fire chiefs encourage other officials to get vaccinated

Valdosta police and fire chief encourage local officials to get vaccinated

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - The Valdosta police and fire chiefs recently received the COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to help stop the spread of the virus.

They hope others will follow their lead to get vaccinated.

“I think It’s extremely important, number one, it sets an example, also it’s letting everyone know you got to do what you got to do to help stop the spread of this virus. And this is one of the major steps we can do,” said Leslie Manahan, the Valdosta police chief.

Manahan received her first round of the Moderna vaccine last Wednesday.

She said she was nervous at first, but knew it was important to set an example for her team and the community.

“I think it’s important that we do the best we can as far as being safe and trying to remain healthy so we can continue to fulfill the mission we owe to the community,” said Fire Chief Brian Boutwell.

Boutwell received his Thursday.

Both chiefs said COVID-19 poses challenges to their departments. That includes the possibility of being short-staffed due to quarantined or exposure concerns and trying to keep team members and others safe when responding to calls.

“We’ve been wearing the mask and we’re still seeing an increase, so we’re having to take the next step. And taking the vaccine I think is extremely important,” said Manahan.

“We’ve done everything we can up to receiving the vaccine as far as keeping our members safe with personal protective equipment on calls, so that’s the next step, receive the vaccine so we can continue to fulfill our mission,” said Boutwell.

Both chiefs say that over a handful of their team members have been vaccinated so far.

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