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NFPA release fact sheet to assist fire departments

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has released a new fact sheet highlighting important elements of NFPA 1584 Standard on the Rehabilitation Process for Members During Emergency Operations and Training Exercises. The new, at-a-glance resource debuts just in time for the 2021 Safety Stand Down campaign, “Rebuild Rehab,” later this month.

Each year, NFPA works with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Safety, Health and Survival Section, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), and the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FSDAO) to bring attention to a particular responder safety concern. This year’s campaign challenges departments to reframe their thinking around rehab to mitigate all the impacts of firefighting.

Agencies across the country are encouraged to suspend all non-emergency activities from June 20-26 and focus on rehab education. An entire week has been set aside to ensure that all shifts and personnel can participate.

Many think simply providing food and beverages to firefighters constitutes a rehab program but rehab should encompass all areas of health, including cardiac, nutrition, exposure, mental health, hydration, and heat stress. Earlier this year, two young firefighter recruits – Victor Melillo of New Jersey and Peyton Morse of New York – collapsed during training drills. Although the cause and conditions for those two tragic incidents are not known, they and others underscore the importance of prioritizing rehab.

In part, the NFPA 1584 fact sheet, stresses that:

  • Rehabilitation is an integral part of fire scene management, training exercises, and an occupational health and safety program
  • Incident commanders, company officers, rehabilitation managers and firefighters all have critical roles and responsibilities
  • Consistent terms including rehabilitation, recovery, active cooling, and passive cooling will ensure that all members understand key information
  • Standard documentation can help crew members understand which rehab efforts to apply, what needs to be documented, and necessary tracking requirements

The Safety Stand Down site offers a wide array of resources for departments. Additionally, members of the fire service are encouraged to take and share the “2021 Fire Service Safety Stand Down Quiz” Sweepstakes. The informative and interactive online quiz, available at www.nfpa.org/fireservicequiz; features 13 questions and will be live through Wednesday, June 23. A limited-edition challenge coin commemorating this year’s Safety Stand Down theme will be given to 200 randomly selected participants.