BREAKING: Several local firefighters test positive for COVID-19 in Toccoa

The City of Toccoa issued this press release on Friday, November 20, detailing the Toccoa Fire Department having several firefighters test positive for COVID-19:

The Toccoa Fire Department reports that several Firefighters have tested positive for Covid-19.  All Toccoa Firefighters have been tested.  Of those tested, numerous Firefighters received results that they are negative for Covid-19, so staffing Toccoa’s two Fire Stations is very manageable at this time.

Fire Chief Jeff Haslup states “the Toccoa Fire Department has a good and workable plan to ensure the safety of the public, but also the well-being of all the fire staff.  We are covering all shifts and maintaining safety services to our community without interruption.”

It is important to note that the City of Toccoa has Automatic-Aid Agreements with Eastanollee, Shiloh and Carnes Creek Fire Stations.  Those Fire Stations will automatically and immediately respond to all structure fire calls in the City Limits.

Toccoa is also working with Stephens County Emergency Management Director Danielle Rhodes and Stephens County Fire Coordinator Jonathan Jordan to secure additional resources should they be needed.

City Manager Billy Morse said “the public can be confident that the Toccoa Fire Department will continue to provide excellent First Responder and fire response services during this time.  Our Firefighters are dedicated to their jobs and fully understand their role to serve and protect.”

All fire trucks and both fire stations have been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to minimize and hopefully eliminate further spread of the virus.  Those Firefighters testing positive will not be allowed back at work until they are cleared.  The Toccoa Fire Department is following CDC and Health Department guidelines.

Vice-Mayor Evan Hellenga stated “the Toccoa City Commission is aware of the situation, and is committed to providing the necessary resources to protect the health and safety of the community.  We understand the importance of these essential services and are confident we will get through this together.”