[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, submitted by a verified resident, and in this case, candidate for Des Moines City Council Position No. 5. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Waterland Blog, nor its staff:]

I am dismayed to learn that the South King Fire & Rescue Commissioners have decided to not support all of the firefighters that serve our community and as a result are placing that community at risk. Their decision to remove firefighters from the ability to provide direct service if they are not vaccinated is short sighted and an affront to personal choice regarding the COVID vaccine.

Personally, I am vaccinated. I have my personal reasons for why I chose to do so. Everyone should be able to choose for themselves whether they will get vaccinated or not. It definitely should not be a government mandate that threatens a person’s livelihood. It should not create a shortage in first responders that threatens the safety and well-being of our community.

We don’t know why any particular individual chooses to not get the vaccine. Quite frankly, it’s none of our business, just like it’s none of our business what other medical or personal decisions another person makes. As for the firefighters, they are masked up, gloved up and hand sanitizered up and they have made a choice to spend their lives serving this community. They deserve our support, not threats to coerce them into something they are not comfortable with. They will get the vaccine when they are comfortable with it, or not at all if that’s what they choose, and they will live with that choice. They’ve already made great sacrifices for our good, who are we to try and force one on them? This is my choice to voice my support for the firefighters of South King Fire & Rescue. I hope that now that the vaccines are being officially approved by the FDA that they will get one. If any of them choose not to, well that’s their choice.

– Tad Doviak

EDITOR’S NOTE: Do you have something you’d like to share with our highly engaged local Readers? If so, please email your Letter to the Editor to [email protected] and, pending review and verification that you’re a real human being, we may publish it. Letter writers must use their full names and cite sources – as well as provide an address and phone number (NOT for publication but for verification purposes).