VANDALIA, Ohio (WDTN) – The two fire departments in Montgomery County are bringing the COVID-19 vaccine right to people’s front doors.
The City of Vandalia Division of Fire and Butler Township Fire Department have teamed up with Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County to make vaccines more accessible for those who can’t leave their homes or risk crowded vaccine clinics.
“We saw the statistics in May and we saw that in the 45377 area code, there was a lower number of vaccinations so we wanted to try to address that,” Vandalia Fire Chief Chad Follick said.
So the fire departments started making vaccine house calls to get more doses into the community.
“We wanted to bring it right to your door so you had no place to travel, you weren’t exposing yourself to people that were unvaccinated,” Follick said.
Since starting in late May, they’ve vaccinated around two dozen people in the Vandalia area.
That includes Melissa Milinovich’s daughter, Claudia.
“We’re really appreciative that the fire department coordinated this effort, and for people like us, and the situation we’ve been in, it was very beneficial,” Milinovich said.
Milinovich said Claudia has a lung condition that kept her home from school, friends and activities over the past year.
Now, thanks to the fire department, Claudia is fully vaccinated and can get back to doing the things she enjoys.
“We’re very excited to get back to quote-unquote normal, and she’s excited to enjoy the rest of her summer,” Milinovich said.
Follick said for the past year, the Vandalia fire department has been working on an initiative to expand their community services and outreach, and vaccinations fell right in line with that effort.
“The vaccine’s just been another leg of that for us, that it’s a service we could extend to other things,” Follick said.
High call volume and events going on has slowed down the department’s vaccination efforts.
They’re hoping to resume the program in late July to get more vaccines out to kids 12 and up before school starts.