Re: “Group of Redmond firefighters refuses COVID vaccine, asks city to keep them on the job” [Oct. 14, Local News]:

As a former paramedic (not a firefighter, but worked with firefighters) in northeast King County including Redmond, and a Vietnam veteran, I want to share some thoughts with the 20 or so firefighters who don’t want to get the COVID-19 vaccinations and are facing the loss of their jobs because of the governor’s mandate. I can relate to your words describing the bond you share with your firefighter family — one for all and all for one. You firefighters risk your lives in the service of protecting others. You are made of the stuff that the New York City firefighters demonstrated when they went into the Twin Towers on 9/11. Dedicated, incredibly well trained, brave and compassionate.

You say that the mandate is driving a stake between you. I get that. You say that receiving the vaccine is against your religion. I do not question your religious beliefs, but I see that your religion has its own mandate that you are following. In choosing which mandate to follow you might consider which one will keep yourself, your family and your community the safest.

Redmond firefighters are greatly respected and appreciated. We need you all.

Howard Harrison, Redmond