Phoenix Firefighters’ High Rate Of COVID Illnesses Puts Strain On Services, Overtime Spending

PHOENIX — Almost half of all Phoenix firefighters have been infected by COVID-19 during the pandemic, putting a strain on the Fire Department’s ability to staff its vehicles and on the city’s overtime budget for firefighters.

“Is it a struggle? Is it a challenge? Yes,” said Scott Walker, the department’s executive assistant fire chief and second-in-command to Chief Kara Kalkbrenner.

But Walker said that no fire trucks have been sidelined by the pandemic.

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