Brookline fire station closed after firefighter tested for coronavirus

BROOKLINE, Mass. — The Brookline Fire Department has temporarily closed a fire station in Coolidge Corner “out of an abundance of caution” after a firefighter started to show symptoms consistent with coronavirus, Chief John Sullivan confirmed.

At the change of shift Monday morning, the department took the temperature of all on-duty firefighters at Station 5, which is located on Babcock Street.

Sullivan said one firefighter had an elevated temperature at the end of his shift and reported his temperature had increased after he went home. The firefighter has since been tested for coronavirus and the results are pending.

Until the test results are back, the department has required 11 other firefighters to self-quarantine. They either worked on a shift with the ill firefighter or had second-hand contact with the member.

Station 5 was closed following the shift change and will re-open Tuesday after the station, equipment and apparatus are disinfected.

Two reserve companies were activated at 8 p.m. Monday and are being housed at other stations in town, ensuring the department is appropriately staffed.

"While we can't say for sure right now whether our member has contracted this illness, there's no doubt that our members -- and first responders everywhere -- are on the front lines of the fight against this pandemic," Chief Sullivan said.

“We have introduced several policy and procedure changes meant to protect our firefighters and residents alike as we continue to serve the community during this challenging time.”

The department is routinely checking the body temperatures of on-shift members at the beginning, middle and end of each shift as part of its adapted policies and procedures due to coronavirus.

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