Firehouse Magazine recently hosted a panel of fire service specialists to explore the mental stress on firefighters during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss what needs to be done in the future. The consensus was that many firefighters will be dealing with the impact of pandemic response for years.
In some areas of the country, departments see minimal impact while others are getting so many “dead on arrival” calls related to COVID-19 it seems surreal. One Fire Department of New York battalion chief said response to this pandemic already overshadows 9/11 as the crisis he'll tell his grandkids about.
Among the topics discussed in the 1-hour podcast:
- First-person account of a firefighter going through quarantine, the circumstances that put him there, and some of the questions that arose in the department.
- Short- and long-term effects of COVID-19 on fire and EMS crews.
- How stress, depression and PTSD can impact lives and jobs.
- Signs and symptoms to be concerned about if you see them in colleagues, family members, friends or yourself.
- The importance of doing a personal size-up every day.
- The long-lasting effects of this incident on relationships between management, personnel, the public and the local government.
There is something in this podcast for everyone to digest and it has the potential to change both current response practices and those of future disasters.
This article appears in the April 30, 2020 InfoGram . | Subscribe to the InfoGram
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