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CT first-responders working to handle the stress of protecting others during coronavirus outbreak

Connecticut

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the heroes on the front lines of protecting others from the coronavirus are real people, too, with real worries on the job — like possibly putting themselves at risk of exposure to a highly-contagious virus.

Paramedic Jeff Nesta, who works for Trinity Health of New England’s EMS team in Waterbury, says he’s most worried about catching the virus on the job and bringing it home to his two young kids.

To make sure paramedics are not too stressed about their important jobs and are mentally okay to keep going, crews at Trinity often get together with managers and openly discuss how things are going on the streets.

These are group sessions that turn out to be therapeutic.

“We have shared experiences,” said Angela Campion of Trinity Health of New England. “It’s a really stressful event and we really need to rely on each other.”

St. Mary’s Hospital does the same thing with its ER workers, doctors and nurses who are on the front lines after EMS crews get patients to them.

“Very brave people occasionally break down and have a stressful moment,” said Dr. Paul Porter of St. Mary’s Hospital. “Then we lean on each other and get them back in the fight.”

At the meeting of EMTs Tuesday, all of the first responders told News 8, even though they have new worries about this virus, that same old passion to help others still runs through their veins.

“We’re still there to help them,” Nesta said to his peers. “We’re still going to do our best to try and help them.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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