WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate will vote on U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) Support the Reinstatement of Trained and Effective Firefighters amendment which makes funding available to fire departments that terminated firefighters for refusing vaccination or voicing opposition to COVID-19 mandates only if they offer full reinstatement and backpay to those who lost their jobs. The amendment is being considered as part of S.870, the Fire Grants and Safety Act.
One of the purposes of the Fire Grants and Safety Act is to fund the hiring of more firefighters. But over the last few years, even as these grants were awarded, firefighters around the country found themselves with a choice: submit to COVID vaccine mandates and forgo your First Amendment rights to voice opposition to them or lose your livelihood.
In New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, among other places, firefighters lost their jobs simply because they insisted upon living according to their conscience. Firing trained and effective firefighters for no good reason is dangerous, particularly when serious shortages of firefighters are reported throughout the country.
Dr. Paul’s amendment would make the grants provided by this bill available to fire departments that dismissed or discharged firefighters for refusing COVID vaccination or voicing opposition to COVID mandates only if they offer full reinstatement and back pay to firefighters who lost their jobs.