Following Gov. Kevin Stitt’s announcement today of an executive order to extend sick leave for state level first responders, Rep. Chris Kannady (R-Oklahoma City) released the following statement encouraging counties and cities to take similar action:
"Today’s executive order, issued by Governor Stitt, grants an additional 80 hours of sick leave for state level first responders, such as the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, in the event they fall ill or become exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
I commend Governor Stitt for taking action to back Oklahoma’s first responders and for his leadership in addressing the state’s response to COVID-19. I continue to serve in uniform, and I support those who likewise wear a uniform and sacrifice to protect others.
Our first responders are on the frontlines of the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, they don’t have the privilege to work from home like many others do. Regardless, they still step up to serve their communities and risk their health and well-being by continuing to serve Oklahomans during this unprecedented times.
I urge county and city officials across the state to follow in the Governor’s footsteps and grant extended sick leave to the brave men and women who protect our cities every day. By doing so, our first responders and their loved ones can have some peace of mind as they continue to protect their communities."
"Firefighters are not immune to the fear of contracting COVID-19, but their biggest concern is spreading the virus, said Scott VanHorn, President of OKC Firefighters Association. "Many of them are staying away from home if they believe they may have been exposed. Your Oklahoma firefighters will continue to respond to all emergencies in order to take care of their citizens, but the Governor’s position just makes sense for all first responders."
"Never have we been confronted with such an enemy as COVID-19," said Mark Nelson, Vice President at Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police. "In spite of the risks, we will continue to protect our communities and all Oklahomans from those who choose to do harm. The Governor protecting first responders is a welcome sight as we continue to fight for all Oklahomans."