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LEBANON, Ind. – Four Lebanon firefighters are now back at work after battling COVID-19. All four firefighters were on different shifts. One of the firefighters had only been with the department for about a week before getting sick.
“I’ve never been sick like that before,” said Preston Aspeslet, a firefighter with the Lebanon Fire Department.
Aspeslet is one of Lebanon’s newest firefighters, and he spent much of his first month sick.
“Basically, it all came on at once ,and it started out with a fever and a headache, and it pretty much just wiped you right out,” said Aspeslet.
He lost his sense of taste and smell but had no respiratory issues. The father of six spent days in bed, trying to stay away from his family and trying to get better.
“Come day three or day four, that’s when you start to think about that stuff, is this ever going to stop?” said Aspeslet.
Slowly, Aspeslet got stronger and got tested again.
“There’s just so much unknown with this with COVID-19, a negative test kind of gave me that seal of approval,” said Aspeslet.
The Lebanon Fire Department is taking steps to stop the spread. Now firefighters have their temperatures checked twice every shift. If their temperature is 100, they’re sent home. Any call that’s not a fire; masks, gloves and safety goggles are required.
As the state begins to reopen, this father and firefighter reminds everyone to be extra careful. “My message is you just never know, like I never would have thought I would’ve got it,” said Aspeslet.
One of the three other Lebanon firefighters who was diagnosed with coronavirus was asymptomatic. All four firefighters are healthy and back at work, helping others.
“You don’t want to make it worse, you want to make things better. So do everything in your power to get better and then get back,” said Aspeslet.
In order to return to work, firefighters had to test negative and then wait an extra three days.
Aspeslet’s swearing-in ceremony was canceled last month. A new date has not yet been rescheduled.