BEVERLY HILLS—Beverly Hills has issued vaccine exemptions for the City’s firefighters on Friday, October 1, due to several requests received from BHPD Fire Department.

Twenty-five firefighters out of the department’s ninety-seven filed. Twenty-three of the members requested an exemption due to religious beliefs and two of the members requested an exemption for medical reasons. Six fire fighters who requested an exemption were denied. Of those who were denied five have now been vaccinated and one has been placed on temporary unpaid leave.

Firefighters who requested an exemption due to religious beliefs will be re-evaluated monthly. Those who requested an exemption for medical reasons will be evaluated individually based on information and documentation submitted by their health care provider.

Any employee that qualifies for the exemption is required to be tested for COVID-19 weekly.

Firefighters are fully certified paramedics and it is required under the City’s mandate for such personnel to be vaccinated.

Fire Chief Greg Barton told the city in a press release that he wants to assure the Beverly Hills community that the department will continue to provide world-class care with full staffing and emergency medical technicians on all shifts. Barton added, “the County’s requirement for vaccination of first responders is now in effect. While personal opinions on the issue of requiring vaccination vary, it is the City’s duty and responsibility to follow the County’s directive. I will not allow anything to distract from our mission of protecting the health and safety of the community.”

The Director of the City’s Human Relations Department and a member of the City Attorney’s Office were responsible for the evaluations.