What are the risks police and first responders face during COVID-19?

What are the risks police and first responders face during COVID-19?

What are the risks police and first responders face during COVID-19?

Author: Shebell & Shebell, LLC

Date: April 28, 2020

Category: Blog

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In March 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued a statewide stay-at-home order in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. As a result, residents were urged to stay at home unless travel was essential. Many businesses have temporarily closed their doors. While some workers have the luxury of working from home, others must risk their lives to serve the public and make a living. Our police officers and first responders are among those on the front line of this pandemic.

First responders risk their lives ensuring the safety of the public

Our police officers are responsible for ensuring the safety of the public. They provide assistance to those who need it and ensure that all New Jersey residents are complying with the statewide stay-at-home order. Even with fewer people out, police still have a difficult and dangerous job that can put them in harm's way. Police often deal with:
  • Violent criminals
  • People under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Rescue situations
  • Traffic enforcement
During these trying times, emergency medical service personnel (ambulance workers) are working harder than ever. They come in close contact with people who may have COVID-19, putting them at risk of being infected. Not only that, but they must also move quickly to transport patients to the nearest hospital. This involves a great deal of lifting and quick, repetitive movements.

What are the dangers first responders face during COVID-19?

Since first responders often come in such close contact with patients with COVID-19, they are at a great risk of becoming ill. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these are the signs of COVID-19 to watch out for:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache and/or body aches
  • Chest pain or pressure
Due to the nature of their job, first responders are also at risk of sustaining:
  • Back injuries
  • Knee injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Severe injuries caused by violence

Can I collect workers' compensation at this time?

If you're a first responder who was hurt on the job, you are still eligible for workers' compensation benefits despite the stay-at-home order and business closures. The New Jersey workers' compensation attorneys at Shebell & Shebell, LLC are offering free, remote consultations through Skype, Zoom, and Facetime. We can also obtain paperwork and receive court signatures electronically, so your claim can be started from the safety of your home. Our law offices are based in Freehold and Shrewsbury, New Jersey. To get started on your workers' compensation claim, contact us online or call (732) 663-1122.

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