VIDEO: For six months now, the Philadelphia Fire Department and Drexel University have partnered to study the levels of stress and mental health of first responders in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presently, they are crunching the data collected, but already there are preliminary findings that could help guide officials going forward.
Even before the pandemic, researchers at Drexel University's School of Public Health found that the mental health load of the job of firefighters and paramedics was already significant. Now you add putting on all that protective gear to make sure you're not catching the virus when responding to emergency calls.
"It's the calls when you don't think you need to put it on and then the patients are coming back positive and then our members have to worry about did they contract it," said paramedic Jacqulyn Murphy.