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Mass Gatherings During COVID-19 Pandemic

Last month, I asked Chief Kevin McGee, Chair of the IAFC Terrorism and Homeland Security Committee (T&HS), to have the committee research and develop leadership considerations for response to mass gatherings and large crowd events – planned or spontaneous – that would be applicable to the challenges we face during a pandemic. I have been reviewing this document and planned to get input from our COVID-19 Task Force before sending it to our members.
However, in lieu of current events of civil unrest, I felt it imperative to get this document out to you today and make it available to the entire fire and EMS service via the IAFC website as a tool for chief fire officers to use immediately.  
As this document illustrates, protest issues that may lead to spontaneous mass gatherings are not just urban issues. Real-time tracking of protest issues indicates that rural communities are at risk as well. As such, I encourage all fire chiefs - urban, suburban, rural/volunteer, combination, or career – to review this document for fresh information that will add to your operational readiness.
Thank you, and please stay safe!
Download the PDF directly or visit our resource page


Chief Gary Ludwig currently serves as the Fire Chief of the Champaign (Illinois) Fire Department and serves as IAFC President and Chairman of the Board. He has 42 years of fire, rescue, and EMS experience.

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