The Impact of COVID-19 on the Front Line 

An interview with two of Abington’s First Responders


Madison Kolodziej

Abington Fire Captain Jarrod Driscoll with engine 4 in the garage of the Abington Fire Department on May 17, 2021.

Madison Kolodziej, Contributor

Over a year  since the outbreak of COVID-19, it is still affecting our everyday life. First responders have been some of the people most relied upon since the outbreak, making their jobs difficult.

Two first responders from the Abington Fire department, Captain Jarrod Driscoll and firefighter-paramedic Katie Kline, took some time to answer questions about how their jobs have been affected by the pandemic.  

Madison Kolodziej: “What has changed (if anything) about your role since the pandemic?”  

  • Jarrod Driscoll: “Personal protection. Everyone is now required to wear a mask to keep everyone safe. Also our workflow has been increased. Receiving more calls also means that the ambulance and the firetruck are out a lot more. And having to take more time out to decontaminate the trucks thoroughly.”  
  • Katie Kline: “There are more calls about people receiving positive tests.”  

Kolodziej:“What has been the easiest change to adjust to since the pandemic?” 

  • Driscoll: “Having to mask the patients. This has helped to stop the spread of disease from the patient or ourselves.”  

Kolodziej: What has been the most challenging change since the pandemic?” 

  • Kline: “Decontamination. Not only do we have to clean the trucks thoroughly but have to worry about keeping the patients and ourselves clean and safe.” 
  • Driscoll: “This [decontamination] means we have less time to reach our patients, causing it to be challenging at times.” 

Kolodziej: “What were your fears about working through a pandemic?” 

  • Driscoll and Kline: “worrying about bringing it home to our families.”  

Kolodziej:“Has the pandemic changed your outlook on your job?” 

  • Kline: “It has kept the job interesting having to keep adapting to change. Our role is constantly evolving and allowing us to see different aspects of things.”