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COVID-19 planning and response resources for fire and EMS

This page contains resources to assist fire and emergency medical services (EMS) departments with planning and responding to pandemics, with a special emphasis on COVID-19.

Reopening schools

Recommendations for fire protection systems and unique school changes that might require special attention from a fire and life safety perspective.

Fire safety factors to consider

Ingress and egress concerns

Social distancing to control building occupant flow can result in fire and life safety issues, such as blocked or locked emergency exits.

Exit factors to consider

Social distancing and occupancy

Considerations for authorities having jurisdiction and building managers when social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn about the considerations

Reopening pools

Consider these factors when preparing to reopen pools with social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pool factors to consider

Information for First Responders on Maintaining Operational Capabilities During a Pandemic

During a severe pandemic, workloads increase and staff sizes diminish as employees and their families become ill or are quarantined. This guide provides contingency planning information that can help fire and EMS departments reduce the worst impacts.

Download the guide

Additional planning guidance

Essential services and devolution planning

Post-disaster recovery planning

Quick reference sheets: operational capability action steps

Potential action steps that can be used when preparing for a pandemic.

Federal Healthcare Resilience Task Force documents

Rural EMS COVID-19 Preparedness Checklist

This checklist serves as a reference for rural response agencies to evaluate their current preparedness and identify areas that need further mitigation measures.

Download document

Epidemiology for COVID-19 EMS providers

An epidemiology overview for EMS providers from all types of EMS systems.

Download document

COVID-19: Considerations, Strategies and Resources for EMS Crisis Standards of Care

This document provides an overview of general considerations, potential strategies and existing resources that EMS agencies may use to inform changes to their operations and standards of care. Sample documents are provided.

Download document

Browse more task force documents

 NFIRS Special Study: COVID-19

The U.S. Fire Administration is using the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) to conduct a national-level special study on fire department responses to COVID-19. The goal of the study is to help fire departments consistently document fire department calls to suspected or confirmed incidents involving COVID-19.

How to participate in the study

478,949
fire service personnel responses to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 incidents from Jan. 1 – Sept. 22, 2020.

Visit the Special Study dashboard

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