A total of 54 firefighters who refused to get vaccinated against Covid-19 have been transferred out of the fire service’s Special Disaster Management Units (EMAK). The transfer takes place a month after the deadline for vaccination of EMAK members expired.
In May, the Fire Service leadership decided in May that all members of Special Rescue Unit EMAK must be vaccinated against Covid-19 by June 11 or move to other units.
In late June, the country’s top court rejected an appeal by a group of EMAK members.
On Monday, the president of the Panhellenic Federation of Firefighters, Dimitris Stathopoulos, told Skai TV the 54 firefighters are being transferred to other services and the vacancies this created in EMAK will be filled with replacements.
The deadline for the vaccination of firefighters serving in disaster response was until the end of June and an informal extension was given until the end of July, however the 54 chose not to get their shots.
In late June, a plenary session of the Council of State rejected, for reasons of public interest, an application by a group of firefighters serving in EMAK to be exempt from vaccinations against Covid-19. In its decision, the court said it is vital to “ensure the uninterrupted operation of special units of the fire service that are in charge of dealing with disasters.”