COVID-19 hits close to home for one Immokalee Firefighter

One Immokalee firefighter is continuing to do the job he loves even in the midst of the pandemic.

Lieutenant Daniel Gonzalez and the rest of the crew at station 30 are still responding to calls, despite the increased risk of danger during the pandemic. “Having to go out on numerous calls and just taking that risk, that’s the hard part,” he said.

Of course, even coronavirus cannot stop emergencies from happening, it just means the firefighters have to be even more careful. Gonzalez thought he and everyone until around him had been doing a great job with that until he got a call from his mother.

“She called me up and was like your dad has been sick, he’s been with a fever and stuff. That’s when I went to his house and said let’s go you’re going to get checked,” Gonzalez said.

His father contracted COVOID-19. It’s been a month since he passed away. “Losing my dad to it that makes it that much more difficult,” said Gonzalez.

Lieutenant Gonzalez had to take a month away from work because of his close contact with his parents.  His mother also contracted COVID, but luckily she survived.

During that time, he made sure to continue getting tested. “I’ve been tested before that and after that about probably a total of seven times,” said Gonzalez.

The new routine at the station consists of disinfecting trucks and wearing masks as well. Not only protect those he’s serving but to protect his fellow firefighters as well.

“This is another family away from the family,” Gonzalez said. “We have to keep each other safe here and do what we can.”

Gonzalez also wants to make sure that to keep his wife and kids safe as well.

“Do what I can to stay safe. Keep my family safe,” Gonzalez said.

He said he expects another spike in cases next month when farmworkers come back to begin winter planting season in Immokalee.

Reporter:Andrea Guerrero
Writer:Drew Hill
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