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First Responders Speak About the Pandemic’s Psychological Toll

firefighters Frontline workers mental health NY-Cal Orange County Orange County Fire Authority pandemic paramedics Southern California US

First Responders Speak About the Pandemic’s Psychological Toll

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BUENA PARK, Calif.—As the ongoing pandemic continues to hit Southern California hard, Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) paramedics are sharing the struggles they’re facing on the frontline. Climbing COVID-19 numbers, coupled with a limited intensive care unit (ICU) capacity at area hospitals, has taken a mental and physical toll on emergency medical (EMS) workers, said Captain Joe Enterline. The psychological stress comes, partly, from the fear of contracting the virus on the job and bringing it home, the paramedic said. “Over the past year there’s been a lot of mental stress related to the EMS side of the pandemic,” Enterline told The Epoch Times. “You’re running on this increased load of COVID patients and now you’re taking that home to your families, and are unknown of your exposure level.” He said that he has been quarantined twice, due to what they consider to be a high-risk impact. “And that’s the great unknown. I have two …

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