Some first responders start packing up ahead of vaccine requirement

With less than 72 hours until local and state vaccine requirements go into effect, some first responders are already clearing out their lockers.

“It was really hard,” says Tyrel Rose. “There were a lot of emotions this morning.”

Rose is a Firefighter for South King Fire and Rescue. Since he is not on the schedule to work through the weekend, Friday brought his 8-and-a-half-year career at the station to an end.

“I took my personal stuff, packed it up, and went home.”

Rose is one of the first, first responders to lose their job as a result of local and state COVID-19 mandates.

He says he believes the vaccine is safe and effective but doesn’t agree with how the mandate was rolled out.

“Mandating people to do it in a short timeline, that doesn’t sit right with me and that’s why I myself am not getting vaccinated,” says Rose.

There are still many unknowns when it comes to how local agencies will handle Monday’s mandate.

The King County Sheriff’s Office is asking unvaccinated employees to still show up on the 18th.

The department confirms to KIRO 7 those employees will receive a letter next week giving them their options and a hearing date with the Sheriff before they can no longer work.

In Seattle, the Police Department says nearly 100 officers are not vaccinated and around 130 others have not disclosed their vaccine status. SPD has not said how many officers they anticipate losing.

Rose says for he and his family, the past few weeks have been hard and he expects the start of next week will be difficult for families across the state.

“Monday morning, what most people are going to be feeling like, it’s a feeling of loss,” says Rose.