Firefighting puts intense strain on firefighters, both physically and mentally. It is critical that firefighters receive a comprehensive rehab program after fire incidents or intense training to ensure their physiological and psychological wellbeing. To address this issue, the theme of the 2021 Safety Stand Down campaign is “Rebuild Rehab.”
Sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Safety, Health and Survival Section, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), this year’s Safety Stand Down will take place June 20-26 and call attention to the need for physical and psychological rehab.
Rehab frequently does not get the consideration it deserves. Many think simply providing food and beverages to firefighters constitutes a rehab program. The 2021 Safety Stand Down challenges departments to reframe their thinking around rehab to mitigate all of the impacts of firefighting and make sure everyone is ready to respond to the next emergency. Rehab should encompass all areas of post-incident health, including cardiac, nutrition, exposure, mental health, hydration, and heat stress.
Responder agencies are encouraged to suspend all non-emergency activities during the week of June 20-26 in order to focus on training and education related to this year’s theme. An entire week has been scheduled to ensure that all shifts and personnel can participate and access the topical information, training, and resources that are available at www.safetystanddown.org. The site will be updated periodically with new tools and resources leading up to Safety Stand Down so that departments can plan their education and awareness activities.
The NFPA will once again host the Fire Service Safety Stand Down Quiz to raise awareness and foster a greater understanding of this year’s theme. Everyone who completes the online quiz will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes; 200 randomly selected participants will win a commemorative Safety Stand Down challenge coin.
Safety Stand Down is supported by national and international fire and emergency service organisations, including the Fire Department Safety Officers Association.