COVID-19 Impact on Fire & EMS: Weekly Update

The NVFC is providing a weekly update to the fire and emergency services on news, resources, and relevant information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find additional resources on our COVID-19 landing page.

Results from Week 3 of the NVFC Survey to Document Volunteer Emergency Services’ COVID-19 Experiences

The NVFC is running an ongoing survey to better understand the experiences of volunteer and combination fire, EMS, and rescue departments dealing with the outbreak of COVID-19. We encourage you to take the survey here, and to retake it each week so that we can track changing challenges and needs. Click here to view the results of the survey from the past week.

NVFC Asks FEMA, HHS to Direct Resources to Emergency Response Departments

The NVFC is working to ensure that fire, EMS, and rescue departments have adequate resources to maintain services in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has created new challenges for agencies related to response, health and safety, fundraising, training, and recruitment and retention. Click here for more information.

Donate to Help Responders in Need

The NVFC recently expanded the Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund to provide assistance to eligible volunteer firefighters and EMS providers who have suffered an involuntary loss in wages of at least $500 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Assistance comes in the form of a one-time stipend of $350 to help responders meet basic needs, as funds allow. Since March 24, we have received over 350 applications, demonstrating the urgent need for this type of assistance.

The Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund relies entirely on donations to be able to provide this support. The NVFC donates all administrative costs so that 100% of donations goes to help volunteer responders. If you would like to donate to the fund, you can do so through our GoFundMe page, through our web site (select “SupportFund” as your donation type), or contact us for other options at or 202-887-5700.

Virtual Meeting Guidance

Want to move your department meetings online but not sure where to start? We have created a quick reference sheet for hosting and participating in a virtual meeting. Access it here.

Online Training Available

Due to the current challenges in holding in-person department training, in our last issue we highlighted some online training that is available for firefighters and EMS providers, including free courses in the NVFC Virtual Classroom. Here are a few additional sources for online training:

Red Roof Launches “Room in Your Heart: Opening Doors to First Responders” Program

Red Roof is giving back to the country’s first responders, including nurses, doctors, firefighters, and EMS providers, who are fighting tirelessly to combat COVID-19. Many of these essential workers on the frontlines need a place to self-quarantine to protect their families. Through May 31, Red Roof is donating a limited number of available rooms to responders to provide a place to sleep and stay between shifts. Learn more and view participating locations here.

A View from the Ground

Fire and EMS departments across the country are feeling the impact of the coronavirus outbreak to varying degrees as the virus spreads. Two recent articles showcase what it is like for departments on the frontlines of the pandemic. A blog post by NFPA’s Northeast Regional Director shares what it is like for his small volunteer fire company in northeast Connecticut as they prepare for a potential influx of cases. A recent article in the New York Times followed a day in the life for career responders in the hard-hit community of Paterson, NJ.

Managing Stress in Uncertain Times

Many people are feeling stress, fear, or other strong emotions during these difficult times. This can be even more pronounced for responders who are on the frontlines of the pandemic. It is important that we are there for each other and that we have access to resources that can help. We have links to webinars, tips, and resources for managing stress and taking care of your mental health here.