JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The fight against COVID-19 is testing the limits of first responders.

“It’s very trying times with law enforcement right now regarding COVID and law enforcement,” said Hinds County Sheriff Tyree Jones.

“Unfortunately sometimes it causes a burden with a firefighter that isn’t able to leave today and has to work overtime,” said Deputy Fire Chief Cleotha Sanders.

“Our care givers are exhausted mentally and physically, but they are committed to continuing to provide care,” said Public Affairs Manager for Central Mississippi Jim Pollard.

As public servants, a certain demand comes with the job. However stacking an unforeseen pandemic on top of daily duties, has added a new layer of stress.

“When we have key personal that are out due to COVID or unavailable, we have to find some type of replacement for this individual. Also, if we don’t have someone that is readily responsive to be able to replace, we have to be creative with the manpower that’s available. We have to shift our resources where its priority or where they’re needed as well,” said Jones.

“If two firefighters have contracted COVID, the relief personal will remain on scene, or we will swing personal from one station to another to make sure that, that truck is staffed at the appropriate time,” said Sanders.

“This is an all hands on deck situation. We have lots of folks working overtime and extra shifts. They help fill the gap that we mentioned, when we have colleagues out with COVID or seasonal illnesses as well,” said Pollard.

On top of COVID absences, first responders across the country are dealing with staffing shortages. Those in Mississippi said they are understaffed and want the public to know they are still fighting and here for the community when they call.