For Spokane County Fire District 2 Commissioner David Degon, Washington's vaccine mandate creates a stark choice.
In the all-volunteer fire department south of Spokane already light on medical responders, what happens if the only firefighter who can respond to an emergency is unvaccinated?
"Do we not respond and let somebody die?" Degon says. "Or do we respond?"
That's why Degon and the district's two other fire commissioners, Steven Braughn and Steven Primmer, decided not to fully abide by the vaccine mandate. An unvaccinated medical responder may sometimes provide patient care, they say.
"We as commissioners decided we will follow it as best as possible, but if we need to go forward without someone being vaccinated, we will do that," Degon says.