Pocono Mountain Fire Chief Among Initial First Responders in Monroe County Vaccinated
BY BRIAN DOWNS
Chief Logan Evans of the Pocono Mountain Volunteer Fire Company has many solid reasons for being among the first emergency responders in Monroe County to get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, Jan. 9 at Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Pocono.
“I’m looking to protect myself, my family, co-workers and fellow first responders,” Evans says. “Also, my brother and sister-in-law both work in health care, so I had no hesitation in getting the vaccine. This is my part to return to some form of normalcy.”
Unexpected perspective shift
Evans has other reasons too. One that sticks in his mind was the recent death of a City of Scranton firefighter after contracting the coronavirus while on the job. Evans, 33, says the Scranton fireman was just 28 years old.
“You see that and it makes you think,” he says. “I’m not stuck on this only affecting older people because that’s not the case.”
Evans, who also serves as Chairman and President of Pocono Mountain Regional EMS, says he and his ambulance colleagues have responded to more unnecessary deaths than normal because people put health care on hold for fear of getting the coronavirus. “That has opened my eyes.”
First responders follow suit
Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) is now vaccinating firefighters, police officers, National Guard members and protective services personnel as guided by Pennsylvania Department of Health’s phased approach to vaccination. First responders can learn more about scheduling their COVID-19 vaccination appointment at LVHN.org/vaccines.
Cpl. Kevin Kress of the Salisbury Township Police Department was vaccinated with the first dose on Jan. 11 at LVH–Cedar Crest. “I didn’t think twice,” Kress says. “We interact with people all the time, and you don’t know when you might come in contact with someone who could spread the virus, so I did it to stay safe for myself, my fellow officers and the community.”
Evans says he’s grateful to LVHN for providing the vaccinations and urges everyone to get it as soon as it’s offered to them, including his colleagues at the fire company and ambulance services. “We strongly encourage our team members to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Through our region, first responders are taking advantage of this opportunity. Here are photos of firefighters from Rush Township Fire Department, Tuscarora Fire Department and Tamaqua South Ward Fire Department getting vaccinated at LVH–Schuylkill.