A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

Monitor and Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19 on Public Safety


Monitor and Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19 on Public Safety

Project Details

Abstract: 

Click here to complete the questionnaireCalling all first responders! If you are a member of a first responder organization responding to COVID-19 (including law enforcement, fire departments, and emergency medical services), please take a moment to complete this short questionnaire (about 6-8 minutes). A few minutes of your time now can help first responders facing pandemics in the future.The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has imposed costs on the country’s police, fire, and emergency medical services. These first responders risk exposure in their jobs, yet must maintain operations in order to ensure the safety of the communities they serve.

These first responder communities are key stakeholders within the homeland security enterprise (HSE), and their resilience in the face of the pandemic is of concern to DHS. Thus, START seeks to collect data on COVID-19 impacts on first responder communities and provide evidence-based best practices.

Check out the COVID-19 Topic Dashboard at this link.   Sign up for project updates at this link.

Objectives

The goal of the project is to measure the impact of COVID-19, identify and share best practices organizations can put in place to protect themselves in the short term, and identify strategies to make first responder organizations more resilient to pandemics in the future. Specific objectives include:

  1.  Build situational awareness of COVID-19 and its effects on first responders.
  2.  Analyze and understand literature regarding past pandemics’ effects on public safety organizations.
  3.  Provide initial best-practice guidelines.
  4.  Monitor current events, collect data, and rapidly synthesize information for use by first responders.
  5.  Review practices and planning guidance and analyze data to identify and disseminate evidence-informed practices.
Methodology: 

The project will use a three-phase, mixed-methods approach. The team will review relevant and available literature, conduct interviews with first responders, leverage available survey data, analyze community-level contextual factors related to infection and mortality, and study the overall impact on service delivery in a sample of first responder organizations.  The team will frame results by looking at three types of effects, namely:

  1.  Environmental  - Changes in level and type of demand for services due to the pandemic.
  2.  Direct - Illness driven absenteeism, reduced productivity, and mortality of personnel.
  3.  Indirect Effects - The effects of COVID-related absenteeism, productivity losses, mortality (direct effects), and changes in demand (environmental effects) have on operations and ability to provide services.
     

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Personnel Shortages Due to COVID-19

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The Risk of COVID-19 Exposure
 

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COVID-19 Topic Dashboard: A Resource For the First Responder Community

COVID-19 Topic Dashboard

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Timeframe

Project Period: 
September 2020 to December 2021