Information Bulletin Number 0803179

USFA Releases New Emergency Incident Rehabilitation Manual for Firefighters and Other Emergency Responders

EMMITSBURG, MD. - The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), working with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), has issued an updated version of the manual Emergency Incident Rehabilitation.  The revised manual examines critical topics related to emergency incident rehabilitation, including operational issues, human physiology, weather issues, and technology and addresses ways to better protect firefighters and other emergency responders through the use of proper protective clothing and improved tactical procedures.  The manual released today updates the original USFA document published in 1992.

"Effective emergency incident rehabilitation is an important facet of firefighter health and safety,” said U.S. Fire Administrator Greg Cade.  “It is needed on the incident scene to prevent potentially serious and life-threatening conditions from occurring.”

Emergency responder rehabilitation 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 vital signs, rehydration, nourishment, and rest for responders between assignments.

"This rehabilitation of firefighters during emergency operations or training exercises can significantly reduce their risk for illness or injury," said IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger.  "The IAFF was pleased to work with USFA to enhance firefighter health and safety through this important project.”

To download Emergency Incident Rehabilitation and for further information about the USFA/IAFF incident rehabilitation partnership effort, please visit the USFA Web site at www.usfa.dhs.gov/fireservice/research/safety/incident.shtm .