PATRIOTIC DUTY — In a social media post, David Riddle, 34, shared that he was getting his Moderna vaccine. He thanked the test subjects, researchers, scientists and manufacturers for providing hope in ending the pandemic. “When your turn comes around, please get in line and get inoculated. It will save lives, it will save people’s businesses, it’s patriotic.”

SUNNYSIDE — With the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines being distributed to first responders, emergency medical services (EMS) and fireman David Riddle believes there is a calculated risk in taking it, however, the benefits far outweigh any trepidation he may have had.

Riddle has been in fire and EMS since 2004, however, he has served the city of Sunnyside for 10 years and imparted in the fire service, there is a risk analysis fire responders have.

“We have a saying – we risk a lot to save a lot and you risk a little to save a little. I think this is a kind of special opportunity where I’m able to risk a little bit, risk some unknowns,” Riddle expressed. “I can’t say 100 percent that I’m going to be fine with this vaccine, but I’m pretty confident, so I’m risking a little to potentially save a lot.”

The veteran fireman acknowledged the worry others may have for a vaccine that was streamlined to contain the virus. He believes that it’s OK for people to feel skeptical, however, he urged people to do honest research from what he called “worthy sources.”

“I wouldn’t dream of telling people, ‘Oh, you’re just being silly,’ because there are some unknowns, but at the same time, I kind of view it from a community and service perspective, the good of the many can outweigh the good of the one here. I view it also as a personal duty.”

The husband of Bethany Riddle and father to toddler Katherine also added how there were somewhat selfish motivations behind wanting to get vaccinated as well.

“I’m excited because I’m better able to protect myself and better protect the people I still see, namely my wife and daughter.”

He believes receiving the vaccine provides him with an added layer of protection and as a result, it would protect everyone he interacts with.

Chuckling, he said, “I’ll still be with everyone else, isolating as we have been doing for almost a year, I’ll still be wearing my mask as I go out in public, the whole nine yards. None of that is going to change.”

Riddle will get his second shot of the two-dose Moderna vaccination on Jan. 21.

Elizabeth Sustaita can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 114 or email

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