Local first responders on the clock when they attended protest calling for end to COVID mandates

Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 7:34 PM CST
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(KMOV.com) - A cross-country trucker protest rolled through the St. Louis metro Tuesday as dozens of supporters lined overpasses down I-44, including some local first responders who were on the clock.

The protest, known as the “People’s Convoy,” claims freedoms are being run over by COVID mandates. It’s one of several trucker-led protests headed to Washington, D.C.

As the convoy passed by the Central Ave overpass in Eureka, a Eureka Fire Protection District truck could be seen parked along the road with its flashing lights on and ladder raised with a flag suspended from it.

“We asked our people if they wanted to participate, they did cause it was a big flag thing and they’re proud of the American flag,” explained Fire Chief Greg Brown.

Brown acknowledges his department made a choice to be there and says at least five employees were on the clock along with several others who were off-duty.

“We’re not taking a stance, we were asked to be there for a flag display,” Brown said.

When asked by News 4 if there was any concern from people who would say being there is showing support, Brown said no.

“Well again, there is a lot of issues that happen that we’re out there participating in being there with the people who ask us to be there,” Brown explained.

Brown maintains the display wasn’t about picking sides.

“We don’t have a stance on mandates when it comes to masks,” Brown said.

Eureka Mayor Sean Flower was also at the protest. He gave News 4 a statement saying:

“I don’t think having our city flag here is a big issue. We have had the flag at numerous speech events, including Black Lives Matter events. Some guys from the fire department wanted to do this, and the chief let them. They are a separate entity from the city.”

Both the Mayor and Fire Chief say they’ll show the flag at events if they’re asked and both claim they did that at a Black Lives Matter rally.

According to the Fire Chief, there’s no formal request process for the department to attend an event, people just have to call and ask.