PRESS RELEASE – February 8, 2021 Firefighters assist in Countywide mass vaccination effort 

Menlo Park Fire Protection District

Pictured above – Menlo Park Firefighter/Paramedic Brian Berger vaccinates one of thousands of residents that came through the San Mateo Expo Center last week  - Credit Menlo Fire

Last week, local Firefighters from every Fire agency in San Mateo County assisted the County Public Health and Emergency Medical Services Departments, who conducted the first mass vaccination effort in the County. Over three days, around 6,300 residents, over age 65 were given their first COVID-19 shot.

Each Fire Agency provided at least three trained personnel per day to staff the twenty drive-through lanes located inside the San Mateo Expo Center. The event was so well-organized, successful and popular with residents that it will be replicated again later in the month, but at another location. One resident sent an email to the Fire District that said “Today I was able to receive my first COVID vaccination. It was given by Paul, a Menlo Park Fireman. Thank you! He was wonderful. Professional and caring. I was also impressed by the organization at the San Mateo Fairgrounds”.

Fire Chief Schapelhouman said “Residents genuinely enjoyed seeing their firefighters last week. All of our personnel, who volunteered to be there, felt that they were making a positive difference in the prevention and spread of this disease. They have been on the front lines of this fight since its beginning. We regularly respond to medical emergencies where we go into homes, apartments, care facilities, clinics, businesses, homeless encampments, and other locations where we are finding people sick with COVID, sometimes entire families have it. My goal would be to see this amazing joint fire agency supported mass vaccination effort duplicated in the communities we serve. Specifically, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park (Belle Haven), North Fair Oaks (County Areas) and Atherton. We also have a highly mobile and motivated local workforce that already makes house calls. Our residents will let us directly into their homes because they trust us and nobody manages a dynamic mobile emergency incident better than the Fire Service!”

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