Emergency Incident Rehabilitation

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USFA worked in partnership with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) to study what critical health and safety issues discussed in the original 1992 USFA document Emergency Incident Rehabilitation needed to be updated or revised. This project also examined areas of emergency incident rehabilitation not discussed in the original manual.

The new Emergency Incident Rehabilitation manual covers critical topics related to emergency incident rehabilitation, including: operational issues, human physiology, weather issues, and technology. The report addresses ways to better protect firefighters and other emergency responders through the use of proper protective clothing and improved tactical procedures.

Emergency incident rehabilitation of first responders is designed to ensure that the physical and mental well-being of members operating at the scene of an emergency do not deteriorate to the point where it affects their safety. It can prevent serious and life-threatening conditions - such as heat stroke and heart attacks - from occurring. Fireground rehab is the term often used for the care given to the firefighters and other responders while performing their duties at an emergency scene. Fireground rehab includes monitoring of vital signs, rehydration, nourishment, and rest for responders between assignments.

Additionally, up-to-date relevant firefighter health and safety standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and others are referenced in the revision.

The need for adequate rehabilitation at the scene of an incident and possibly at a place remote from the incident remains a valid emergency responder health and safety issue today.

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