Fire Fighter’s Contribution – Combating Covid-19 PANDEMIC
With the COVID-19 pandemic dominating our news feeds – and call volume in many areas – it’s natural for first responders on the front lines to feel overwhelmed.
The same is true for the fire chiefs leading the strategic and operational charge, directing their members, redistributing resources, developing short- and long-term contingency plans and so much more. The main role of fire chiefs during this national emergency is first, maintain the health and safety of our firefighters while also serving the needs of our communities during this challenging time. It requires us to juggle many balls in the air at the same time.
The goal of the Task Force is to continually provide information to fire chiefs on the latest information, impact, best practices, science, and data to assist fire chiefs to make timely and informed decisions to best keep their firefighters safe while serving the community. Fire departments in high-risk impact areas should consider preparing for a large number of personnel to be out sick and should make alternative plans, including rolling a three-shift fire department into two shifts, or a four-shift fire department into three shifts. A political push to deploy firefighters for assistance work (bringing food to old people, support supermarkets etc.) is not acceptable risk. Fire departments have to be careful with their resources or they could be risking a shutdown of entire fire stations. “The protection of critical infrastructure, which also includes fire stations, has priority and should not be used as a contact point for the public too hastily”.
The fire service organizations say that the measures in the agreement reflect the scale of the national crisis and the urgency of the response required. Firefighters will continue responding to core emergencies, such as fires and road traffic collisions, but also has to provide additional services specifically related to COVID19.