It’s no secret that the Coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on first responders. Many agencies are becoming short-staffed due to responders contracting or being exposed to the virus, and families of responders are worrying and their loved ones venture to the front lines daily, putting themselves at risk. Responders have admitted to fears of contracting the virus, which has symptoms all over the board. Many police and sheriff agencies have had to make a number of adjustments, whether it be limiting response to traffic violations or issuing citations and warnings instead of making arrests for some charges. Individuals in specialized assignments are finding themselves on patrol for the first time in years. Fire and EMS, along with some law enforcement, have seen new policies around personal protective equipment (PPE) as well. Some responders have no idea what their assigned task or role will be until their shift starts. Both the psychological and administrative impacts can have an effect on mental health and morale. The stress is real.
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