Oklahoma City Fire Department Major Andy Davis died on Christmas Eve from COVID-19. The next day, the department received 500 doses of Moderna vaccines and started injections.
Davis was a twenty-year veteran of the Oklahoma City Fire Department and assigned to Station 10-C.
He was from one of several families that has a tradition of being in the Oklahoma City fire service.
Maj. Davis was the son of retired Captain Johnny Davis, brother of Deputy Chief Tony Davis and Major Scott Davis (4-A). He was also the uncle of the Davis family’s newest addition to OKCFD, Corporal A.J. Davis (6-C).
In a statement about Davis’ death, Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson expressed what the rest of the fire service members were no doubt feeling.
“Like his brothers, nephew and father, Andy loved the job and serving the residents of Oklahoma City. His jovial approach to life endeared him to all who knew him, and his work ethic was an example of excellence.”
Firefighters live together for days when they are on duty and grow personally close in the process. Because of that reality, any loss from their ranks is a deep one.
Christmas Day, the next day after the death of Major Davis, vaccinations were given starting with Corporal A.J. Davis.
Next were Oklahoma City Fire Chief Richard Kelley and Cameron Weems, president of Oklahoma City Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 157, the union that represents OKCFD firefighters.
“We are extremely hopeful that this vaccine will have a profound, positive impact on the wellbeing of our personnel,” said Kelley. “Though 500 doses does not cover every firefighter who wished to be vaccinated, the department views this as a positive start.”
Because of the close quarters of firefighters who are on duty and the highly-contagious nature of the coronavirus, the fight to hold down COVID-19 has been a difficult one.
Free Press reported earlier in the year how infections and quarantines challenged leadership to keep firefighters healthy and staffing at appropriate levels.
When one firefighter would test positive, those who were in contact with that person would have to quarantine for 14 days which took them off the schedule.
So far, OKCFD has been able to fill empty slots with off-duty firefighters who were willing to put in the extra work.