Phoenix, Ariz. (Sept. 1, 2021) – In appreciation to all of the people across the community who have tirelessly gone above and beyond serving the needs of people during this very trying time, Maricopa County adopted a resolution today to recognize Second Responders.
Observed each year on September 1, Second Responders’ Day is dedicated to paying tribute to the nation’s ‘second responders’ – professionals who provide support and services to people once the initial emergency response concludes. Second responders include case managers, shelter works, warehouse and grocery workers, meal providers, janitorial staff, counselors, transportation and delivery providers – among others. At Maricopa County, second responders include the teams of people in Human Services, Public Health and the Office of the Medical Examiner who have been serving an increase in the need for their services over the last year and a half.
“The work of second responders has taken on a whole new meaning during the COVID era,” said Lee Ann Bohn, Assistant County Manager. “Every day for nearly a year and a half, our second responders in Human Services, Public Health and the Office of the Medical Examiner have helped fellow members of the community whose lives have been forever changed in a variety of ways by the pandemic. Thank you to all of the second responders for the work you do every day serving the residents of Maricopa County. We are fortunate for your expertise, experience, dedication, and compassion.”
Since March 2020, Maricopa County Human Services Department employee and partner second responders have responded to the community by:
- Providing $50 million of rent and utility assistance to families facing eviction or shutoffs
- Implementing innovative strategies to address the health, housing and medical needs of people experiencing homelessness, including expanding shelter capacity during periods of extreme heat
- Delivering services to seniors and adults with disabilities to ensure that they are staying safe
- Working with families to ensure their young children had virtual learning opportunities and now, safe Head Start classrooms to further their in-person learning
- Keeping Workforce Development centers open and discovered new ways to provide employment searches, interview preparation and job training services to job seekers
The Maricopa County Public Health team has:
- Investigated more than 600,000 COVID cases
- Conducted hundreds of webinars for partners in healthcare, schools and municipalities
- Organized hundreds of COVID testing events, bringing testing services into community settings
- Held hundreds of vaccine events around Maricopa County
- Answered tens of thousands of calls and emails from residents
- Mobilized thousands of volunteers, who have contributed over 100,000 hours serving the community
The team at the Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner has responded to a 26% increase in reported deaths in calendar year 2020.
Our Emergency Management team has provided millions of units of personal protective gear throughout our community to schools, medical providers, municipalities and other community partners to protect their second responders as they deliver services to the community.
The Resolution of Support for Second Responders recognizes the crucial role that Second Responders have in our community’s overall ability to manage crises. Risking their own health, Second Responders have heroically served our community to provide essential services that support recovery.
“Second responders are a vital part of our ability to manage crisis and help people heal,” said Bruce Liggett, Director, Maricopa County Human Services Department. “These caring and compassionate people provide critical and essential services to help our residents address the needs in their lives to relieve stress and promote wellness during this very demanding time.”