The South Burlington Fire Department had to adapt and overcome new challenges when the pandemic hit.
Senior Firefighter Roger Gosselin is used to not seeing his family as often, but it’s been all the more difficult this year.
“24 hours shifts turned into 48 hour shifts,” he said. “It became a struggle with home life to make sure we were spending enough time at home, but also learning and trying to stay on top of the additional training that was involved with the new protocols.”
Some of the new protocols include wearing extra equipment which makes things a lot hotter when they are on a call.
“It started with wearing additional protective equipment on calls, from entire full gowns to face masks, eye protection, and extra gloves,” Gosselin said.
Paramedic Bradley Dattilio said working through a pandemic has been challenging on a variety of levels. “Physically, emotionally — I would describe it as more of like a marathon rather than a sprint,” Dattilio said.
It required him to adapt to sleep deprivation in new ways.
“Such as leaving work with two or three hours of sleep and having a day ahead of you where your responsibilities include helping your children navigate theses educational challenges at home,” Dattilio said.
But at the end of the day, they are putting the community first.
“People remind us on a regular basis what our work means to them and you learn to become desensitized to the risks because of the meaningful work that this career provides for its employees,” Dattilio said.
Dattilio said they want to thank all the other frontline heroes that have been fighting through this pandemic.