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Arizona firefighters contracting coronavirus at an ‘alarming rate,’ association says

United Phoenix Firefighters wrote a plea to the community to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Firefighter protection gear, helmet, gloves on the bumper of the fire truck

PHOENIX — An Arizona firefighter’s association is pleading with the community to limit 911 calls to just emergencies after seeing crews contract COVID-19 at an “alarming rate.”

United Phoenix Firefighters wrote on a Facebook post on Thursday that, “Valley fire departments are seeing a profound spike in our call volumes for COVID related calls.”

The state has seen a surge in coronavirus patients that threatens to overwhelm hospitals and forced Gov. Doug Ducey to order certain businesses to shut down again to limit the spread.

But firefighters say they’re being exposed to the virus unnecessarily.

“In most cases, those with COVID-19 experience mild to moderate symptoms that can be easily managed at home. If you are concerned about an exposure or symptoms, a call to your physician is usually the best way to get further direction.”

People who want to get tested for the virus should consult their physician over the phone or locate a testing site – not call 911, according to the association.

RELATED: How to get tested for coronavirus in Arizona

They say the number of firefighters affected by coronavirus has impacted staffing at firehouses.

“Please help us help you by calling 911 only when someone is experiencing severe symptoms,” the post read. “By working together, we can ensure that the emergency workers you rely on will be healthy and able to be there when you need them most.”

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