The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the morale and mental health of your agency’s first responders and administrative staff across multiple dimensions:
- First responders are getting sick and many have lost their lives. Departments have expressed that there are “added stresses that everybody’s living with…knowing that the people that they’re going out and engaging with are...likely to be positive.” (Interview 5803)
- Your first responders may fear for loved ones who are more vulnerable to COVID-19, “and if [family members] have underlying health conditions the impact is exacerbated” (Interview 6315)
- Necessary changes to normal operations have limited social interactions and disrupted routines at your department, affecting those in administration and on the frontlines.
- First responders enjoy helping community members, but the pandemic has led to fewer community events like ride-alongs, car seat checks, and public CPR trainings.
- It has also reduced professional development activities like advanced training
- Already trying to do more with less before the pandemic, your personnel are stretched even further as fewer people are asked to take on extra shifts and new responsibilities.
Romm, Madeline and Katy Lindquist. 2021. "Morale and Mental Health." College Park, MD: START (March).