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Burnout in the disaster response workforce: The impact of work roles and the COVID-19 pandemic

Kelsey L. Merlo, PhD, Katrina M. Conen, BA, Blake Scott, MPH, Kayla Jones, MA, Elizabeth A. Dunn, MPH, CPH, Jennifer Marshall, PhD


The coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic cor­responded with a record-breaking year for billion-dollar disasters. While the pandemic swept across the United States, the country also experienced a record-setting hurricane season on the East Coast and an unprecedented wildfire season on the West Coast. These co-occurring threats have placed unprecedented strain on our disaster response workforce with poten­tial long-term implications for turnover and disaster response efficacy. In this paper, we draw from the Job Demands-Resources model to address the influence of workers’ role stressors and community infection rates during the COVID-19 pandemic and job burnout and turnover in the disaster response workforce. 


burnout; COVID-19; disaster response

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