Graduation Date

Spring 5-8-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Emergency Preparedness

First Advisor

Dr. Sharon Medcalf

Second Advisor

Rachel E. Lookadoo, JD

Third Advisor

Keith F. Hansen, MBA


To date, there have been over 2.7 million deaths and more than 126 million cases attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic (JHU, 2021). This pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of daily life. Among those impacted are U.S. firefighters, as they provide many services beyond simply extinguishing structure fires and are frequently dual certified as emergency medical technicians. Many of the victims of this pandemic have relied on first responders to provide them with emergency medical care and hospital transport. When caring for these infected patients, firefighters have an increased risk of exposure and must be provided with adequate resources and guidance on how to best protect themselves. To assess the COVID-19 pandemic plans utilized by U.S. fire departments, this study performed a qualitative review of COVID-19 pandemic plans from metropolitan fire departments across the nation. The fire department policies were compared to the 117 recommendations established by national and international authorities on COVID-19. Analysis of the fire department COVID-19 plans revealed 29 recommendations that were followed by all agencies reviewed, 72 recommendations that were intermittently acknowledged, and 16 recommendations that were included in no fire departments plans. The study also identified unique practices in the COVID-19 infection prevention and control plans reviewed.