The firefighter, whose name has not been publicly disclosed, remained hospitalized in an intensive care unit on Wednesday after contracting the novel coronavirus while on the job.
"We had our fire engineer who tested positive for COVID within the last week," Assistant Fire Chief Carl Besanceney of the Torrance Fire Department told ABC7. "The doctors are doing everything they can to keep the airway clear, keep him off a ventilator, but it's requiring more aggressive efforts in order to get the plasma to be able to get his body a bigger boost to fight the COVID-19."
The Fire Department is turning to the community at large in search of patients who have already fully recovered from the virus who can donate their antibodies.
Orange County firefighter back to work after recovering from COVID-19
A list of criteria that must be met before plasma can be a donated through the American Red Cross.
"A perfect match is viable for anyone that's gone through and fought off COVID-19," Besanceney said.
Fire officials are hopeful that antibodies will help their fellow firefighter, but they also want to build awareness throughout all of Southern California about this critical need among all patients. Officials say time is of the essence.
"We are thankful for everybody's efforts to try and find the solution, to be able to get the needed treatment that we know is out there," Besanceney said.
While the Torrance firefighter has been the only one from that agency requiring hospitalization, the department said several of the city's other firefighters are in home isolation for various reasons: They've either tested positive themselves, they've had contact with the infected firefighter, or they had similar exposure to other confirmed COVID-19 patients.