Firefighter Sarah Skammel blasted the San Francisco Fire Commission for terminating her and others firefighters for not abiding by the city’s COVID vaccine mandate. Skammel lost her 13-year firefighting career over not getting vaccianted.
In the exclusive video (above) from the Feb. 25 trial, Skammel tells Katherine Feinstein, the fire commission’s president and daughter of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA):
“You can take my job. You can't take my dignity, my self-respect, my bodily autonomy or my relationship with my creator.”
The transcript of the video is at the bottom to read her words.
Skammel, 39, isn’t visible in the video because she called in by phone when the conference app wouldn’t work from an airport in Alaska. “It worked out perfectly though because the trial was a joke, and I didn't want to waste any more of my time on that corrupt city,” she said.
Feinstein and the other commissioners voted to terminate Skammel after she hung up the phone, according to my sources. Fire and city officials declined to comment on personnel matters.
When I called her two months ago, Skammel was with a real estate agent trying to sell her house. She couldn’t afford the mortgage in the expensive Bay Area after losing her job. Now she and her husband bought a house in Alaska with four acres.
“Our new mortgage will be a fraction of our old mortgage,” she told me Monday. “We will finally be living a lifelong dream that we thought would have to wait until retirement.”
How many have been fired?
San Francisco has fired several firefighters recently, according to my sources, even though the pandemic appears to have ended and COVID cases are low. However, the number of unvaccinated firefighters who have been forced out of a job or waiting for trial is kept secret by the city.
I asked Lt. Jonathan Baxter, the Public Information Officer for the San Francisco Fire Department. Baxter referred me back to Mawuli Tugbenyoh, the Deputy Director, Policy and External Affairs for the city’s Department of Human Resources.
Asked how many had been fired, Tugbenyoh emailed back "We that cannot comment on specific personnel matters.”
I asked both officials what is the purpose of enforcing the vaccine mandate at the very end of the pandemic. Tugbenyoh told me to read the purpose statement in the “Vaccination Policy” (uploaded below) that went into effect in June 2021. The “purpose” says, in part, this:
Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent transmission and limit COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.
Unvaccinated employees, interns, fellows, and volunteers are at greater risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 within the workplace and City facilities, and to the public that depends on City services.
Of course, we know now that vaccines have no role in transmission or infection. But Katherine Feinstein, who was appointed to the Fire Commission by Mayor London Breed in Jan 2020, just keeps firing able-bodied firefighters. The internal rules for the Fire Commission governing trial are uploaded below.
FEINSTEIN: I said you're good to go.
SKAMMEL: As I said, I'm gonna make this really quick. I'm about to board my flight, and I would've taken this trial more seriously, except that, in all frankness, this is a joke because the verdict was decided a long time ago.
I understand that the Fire Commission is only interested in whether or not I follow the rules. You're not interested in the vaccine manufacturers’ safety trials; the adverse reactions to the vaccines; the number of breakthrough cases; whether or not there actually is a fully FDA-approved vaccine available for the public to take; or even whether or not the vaccine prevents the spread of COVID-19.
You're only interested in whether or not I followed orders. Well, I'd argue, I did follow orders – the orders of God, my ultimate employer. I have a God-given right to decide what I put in my body.
I will not be coerced, threatened or bribed into taking an experimental substance that is unsafe and ineffective.
You can take my job. You can't take my dignity, my self-respect, my bodily autonomy or my relationship with my creator.
I will leave this department with my head held high – closer to God than I've ever been before.
So that's all I have to say. Like I said, I'm going to go board my flight now. And I guess you guys can let this dog and pony show continue, and someone will let me know what the results are, but I already know.
Thank you very much for your time.
FEINSTEIN: Thank you, Ms. Skammel.