Managing Safety: What It’s Like to Be a Police Officer, Firefighter, and Caregiver Mid-pandemic

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We all have our own idea of what a dangerous job is. Some would say construction workers, miners, and truck drivers face different kinds of danger each day. Others would say those in the field of law enforcement are often more at risk. But then, the pandemic came. Now, healthcare workers, caregivers, firefighters, and the police have their share of Covid-19 battles.

They are also a part of the group of essential workers who can’t take a break, not even in the middle of the pandemic. They continue to serve the people, respond to cases, and ensure peace despite the risk of getting the virus while on the job.

Challenges Facing Today’s Police, Firefighters, and Caregivers

There Due to the pandemic, jurisdictions in the U.S. told the police to use arrests as a last resort. They are still required to maintain peace and order and to use their authority to keep the public out of harm’s way. But they need to minimize the number of people sent to jail to avoid overcrowding.

Now, policing is reimagined in an attempt to prioritize public safety. Instead of arrests, officers now focus on community partnerships. They aim to fill the gaps with the help of community programs while reducing the risks of further spreading the virus.

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Firefighters are also at risk of contracting the virus while on duty. They can get in contact with patients who have the virus without knowing it. Since the pandemic, firefighters have been transporting Covid-19 patients both dead and alive.

Nursing homes have been implementing strict health and safety regulations. This is since elderly adults are part of the high-risk populations. But despite all the efforts, cases and deaths continue to rise in nursing homes. Caregivers have to be extra careful when handling patients especially patients who opted to age in place.

Managing Safety During These Challenging Times

While doing their job, the Police, firefighters, and caregivers are to abide by new health and safety recommendations. Essential workers are to observe social distancing, use proper PPE, and take extra precautions while on duty. Extra training and infection prevention and control protocols are put in place to increase the safety of both the essential workers and the public.

Essential workers now use the recommended protective equipment when managing suspected and confirmed Covid patients. The police still make use of their authorized vehicles with police car lights, use their tools and weapons as necessary, and maintain the rights of someone during a confrontation. But now, they do this keeping social distancing in mind and relying less on physical intervention.

Firefighters and caregivers that help transport patients suspected or are positive of Covid-19 need to make sure they sanitize and disinfect all non-porous surfaces in and out of their vehicles. This includes gurneys, reusable PPEs, and equipment frequently touched surfaces. They are also limiting the number of providers when transporting and coming in contact with people.

Caregivers who provide care in senior homes and patient’s homes must wear the required PPEs depending on the case. They limit the number of providers coming in contact with each patient. They are also advising patients’ families to use other forms of communication since visits can put seniors and their patients at risk.

All essential workers who come in contact with a positive or suspected Covid-19 case are tested and advised to self-quarantine until the results come out. Those who are sick are encouraged to stay home. They are only advised to resume duty after they met the criteria to discontinue self-quarantine. Their employers are responsible for reminding the policies and protocols put in place to help manage the safety of their workers.

Like numerous healthcare providers, many police, firefighters, and caregivers have tested positive while others already lost their lives during the pandemic. But they still put on their uniforms despite the additional risks that come with fulfilling their roles. It only becomes a must that the government and the public do their part in keeping them safe.

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