Parade of first responders held in support of Attleboro firefighter battling COVID

SE Mass

ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — A parade of first responders made its way past Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro on Saturday afternoon.

It was a show of support for an Attleboro firefighter who is fighting for his life in the hospital after testing positive for COVID-19.

Attleboro Firefighters Local 848 President Paul Jacques tells 12 News, the 29-year-old was admitted due to the severity of his symptoms — double lung pneumonia — and he cannot breath without oxygen.

With sirens blaring and lights flashing — firefighters and police came out in full force Saturday to let their brother know he is not alone.

“We have Pawtucket firefighters here, Plainville firefighters here, we have Seekonk, North Attleboro, we have our brothers in blue from Attleboro Police Association, and they just keep lining up. We’re so grateful for all the support, not only from the fire service, from the police, but from the citizens of Attleboro, and surrounding communities. It’s been, it’s been overwhelming,” Jacques said.

The fire union has been at odds with the city of Attleboro over “injured on duty” status for the firefighter.

The mayor contends there’s no way to show the firefighter contracted COVID-19 on the job, but Jacques says the union has strong infectious disease presumptive language in their contract to protect members who are exposed to COVID-19, among other illnesses and hazards.

Another firefighter also tested positive around the same time and has been quarantining, according to Jacques.

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