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Protecting the workforce 

CRJ Advisory Panel member Rob Fagan provides some useful links for emergency services personnel on the frontline of the Covid-19 response.

The Crisis Response Journal recently highlighted that in the United States one of our important ‘go to’ resources is the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Updated almost hourly, this very useful website is applicable to everyone in terms of knowing what to do for prevention lists and guidelines for travel, work, school, etc.  Much of their guidance and recommendations come in the form of printable and downloadable PDF files.

This certainly remains the case with the realisation that we are at war with this virus on a global scale. And, as in any Army, we have to protect the frontline soldiers keeping everyone safe.  Many of our first responders come from full-time professional workforces that have had extensive training in dealing with the current situation.  However, a great number have not.  Many of the dedicated and valiant individuals fighting this crisis are volunteers, part-time workers, repurposed employees, or mobilised auxiliarists. With these individuals in mind the CDC has published the ‘Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for Covid-19 in the United States’.

Of additional note is their guidance ‘What Law Enforcement Personnel Need to Know about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19)’ and ‘Resources for Hospitals and Healthcare Professionals Preparing for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Covid-19’

Interestingly, our fire professionals are also in the cross hairs of this response. The International Fire Chiefs Association (IFCA) has published a booklet for current response and planning recommendations in PDF format.

Finally, and as equally important as physical protection, the emotional and psychological sides of this long-term crisis should not go unheeded by our response personnel. The International Public Safety Association (ISPA) has published a quick read entitled, ‘Ten Tips for Emergency Responders, Healthcare Providers for Managing Stress during the Covid-19 Crisis.’ 

Robert Fagan, 23/11/2020
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