This story has been updated from its original version.
DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — Positive cases of COVID continue to climb across the state and it’s even taking a toll on our first responders.
A Midstate fire company recently lost three team members within a month due to the deadly COVID-19 virus. Gratz Fire Chief Harry Welker says this is a devasting loss for his crew and their families because these members of the fire company have done so much for the community.
For the Gratz Fire Company, the COVID-19 virus has taken a huge toll on their first responders.
“We want to be there to have their back to basically do what for them whatever they would need to have done,” Welker said.
Get daily news, weather, and breaking news alerts straight to your inbox! Sign up for the abc27 newsletters here
Welker says in early December, the crew had a firefighter pass away due to COVID. Last week the wife of the Vice President of the fire company died, and just hours later, on the same day, another firefighter, Scott Dreher, President of the fire company died due to COVID.
A procession was held in his honor. Dreher was described as a hero who put others first and has been with the Gratz Fire Co. for over 30 years.
“He had a very, very warm and welcoming demeanor to him. He’s just going to be missed,” Welker said.
And Welker says the 35 emergency crew members with the Gratz Fire Co. have a choice when it comes to vaccination.
“It doesn’t totally scare me, but it sort of, it makes you think twice about doing what you’re doing sometimes,” Welker said.
Chief Welker says so many communities have come together and salute those that have lost their lives to COVID.
“You know, we know one another, and we know of people and it doesn’t matter if you’ve never met them if you know of them and they’re a good person, they’re your brother in that respect,” Welker.
Chief Welker says most of the crew are younger and healthy and as for these recent deaths there’s no telling if underlying health conditions were a factor.