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First Responders Discuss COVID-19 Pandemic Response, Including Workforce and Logistics Challenges

For each challenge, a series of solutions were proposed by stakeholder participants for federal and state, local, tribal and territorial (SLTT) agencies.

A new report from USFA summarizes discussions among national emergency response stakeholders about the impact of COVID-19 on the fire and emergency medical services (EMS) and potential solutions to mitigate response challenges experienced during the recent pandemic.

On Oct. 21-22, 2021, the U.S. Fire Administration hosted a national-level pandemic response listening session at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The 2-day session provided an opportunity for the over 40 national stakeholder representatives to discuss the challenges and impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on fire departments, EMS, 911 dispatch telecommunicators and other response agency operations.

These discussions provided insight to the complexity of the pandemic. Challenges were divided into 4 categories:

  1. Workforce.
  2. Logistics and supply chain.
  3. Business operations and continuity.
  4. Agency funding, grants and reimbursement.

For each challenge, a series of solutions were proposed by stakeholder participants for federal and state, local, tribal and territorial (SLTT) agencies. Many of the participants’ issues and solutions spanned 2 or more categories and recurred throughout the discussions.

Adoption of the potential solutions in this report may improve the safety and efficacy of emergency response for a future pandemic or event of national significance. The regulation changes and implementation of the noted mitigations and proposed solutions may provide for a more robust EMS system within SLTT agencies and provide a more resilient workforce and community.

Read the report at USFA

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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