"Seattle firefighters and Seattle police officers that were fired for not complying with the vaccine mandate are out feeding the homeless," the Post Millennial tweeted Tuesday, accompanied by video footage of the scene.
Video footage from Tuesday also shows dozens of the former cops and firefighters walking up the steps of Seattle’s City Hall to return their boots after being let go.
Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s vaccine mandate for most state workers took effect Monday at 11:59 p.m. Those who did not show proof of vaccination were subsequently out of jobs.
"At 12:01, if they're not vaccinated, it depends on whether there's an exemption process or whether they just haven't filed their paperwork," Democratic Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said Monday at a press conference. "Everyone has to be vaccinated, but we will try to provide a last chance for every city employee who has not complied with this. Our goal here is not to lose employees. Our goal is to get everybody vaccinated."
As of Monday morning, 91% of Seattle Police Department employees and 90% of sworn personnel had been vaccinated. While 7% of department employees and 8% of sworn employees had filed for exemptions, according to data from the mayor’s office.
For the fire department, 93% of employees were vaccinated Monday morning and 6% had filed for exemptions.
There was concern last week that the vaccine mandate would ultimately result in slower 911 responses due to there being fewer officers in the city.
"I feel like I’m on my own. I can’t get help from anywhere. I just open the door every day and don’t know if I’m going to go home safe and good to my family or if something is going to happen," Youssef said. "The tourists are not going to come, the people are not going to go out of their home to buy things. It’s going to be like a ghost city," Maher Youssef, owner of Youssef’s Pluto Organic Café in Belltown, told KING5 News last week.
Durkan struck an optimistic tone, however, and said that the city had a high vaccination rate among first responders, and response times to emergency calls would not be impacted.
"If someone calls 911, there will not be significant impacts on response," said Durkan.
Washington State Patrol also lost 127 employees following the mandate, including 67 troopers, six sergeants and one captain.
The agency will aggressively recruit for academy classes and move around resources to ensure meeting "our life-safety responsibilities in the short term," WSP director of communications Chris Loftis told Fox News.
"We have an academy class well underway that will hopefully yield 47 new Troopers in April of ’22 and two more classes lined up following that through the middle of’23 that will help us recoup some of these numerical losses," he said.
"However, you cannot regain lost experience, and in these cases, good and dear friends. They leave with our respect, our hopes, and our appreciation."