PASADENA, Calif (KABC) -- Southern California firefighting agencies, many of them hit hard by the coronavirus, are getting their first vaccines.
Pasadena firefighters were among the local first responders to receive the shots on Monday.
"Normally this time of year we are in full prep for the Rose Bowl and Rose Parade," said Tim Sell, a battalion chief with the Pasadena Fire Department. "And this year COVID-19 took that away from us. So it gives us hope going forward to next year."
At least 100 members of the Orange County Fire Authority voluntarily received their first shot of the Moderna vaccine over the weekend.
Some of them said they were getting vaccinated not only to protect themselves and their families but also to set examples for the public who may be hesitant.
"Everyone has their different opinions on getting the vaccines and immunizations but I'm really happy," said Raymond McQueen, a captain with the OCFA. "I have three young daughters at home as well as a wife who works in health care. So it's one of those things in my opinion, it wasn't if but when. Now that I'm vaccinated I feel I'm better able to do our job and help the public."
WATCH: LAFD receives enough doses of COVID vaccine for department's firefighters
Also today, the first group of Los Angeles city firefighters are received their vaccines as well. LAFD has received enough doses of the Moderna vaccine to make shots available to all 3,400 members of the department over the next couple of weeks.
"This protection will extend beyond our firefighters. It will extend to their families, their peers and the people of Los Angeles that we serve," said LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas.
The chief says more than 600 of the department's firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19. Around 450 have recovered and are back on duty. Over the summer, firefighter paramedic Jose M. Perez, 44, lost his battle with COVID-19. He had been with the department for more than 16 years.