Over the course of the past year, everyone’s lives have been greatly impacted. However, first responders are among those whose lives may have been impacted the most. Recently, Tom Lacey, a firefighter and paramedic for the Columbus Division of Fire, shared the ways in which his daily routine has been impacted, and how his duties and responsibilities have changed.
Beyond the changes in protocol and daily routine, many first responders were faced with new fears and concerns this year, as they continued to work through unprecedented times. When asked about some of the mental impacts the pandemic had on firefighters and paramedics in Columbus, Lacey stated that “initially there was a high level of anxiety surrounding the unknowns, but as the pandemic has progressed and the protocols have adapted to deal with this pandemic, the anxiety has decreased.” He also noted that while the risk for paramedics was very high at the beginning, the average number of suspected daily covid patients that are transported has slowly decreased in the past several weeks, and many paramedics received their Covid vaccines, and therefore the risk has slowly gone down.