Providing Firefighter Rehab with Limited Staffing   [open pdf - 4MB]

"Cardiovascular stress is the cause of firefighter deaths in over half of the cases reported, due to the fact that fire personnel perform arduous physical tasks in stressful environments. Providing incident rehabilitation services and medical monitoring has been shown to reduce the effects of physiological and emotional stress which creates a safer work environment for firefighters. The problem is the Rio Rancho Fire Rescue Department (RRFRD) has not been able to provide sufficient trained personnel to meet the national standards for firefighter's rehabilitation and medical monitoring during active fire suppression incidents. The purpose of this research project is to gain perspective on the options for providing this critical service to fire personnel, especially during difficult economic times. To address this issue, descriptive research was used to answer the following questions: (a) What criteria are fire departments using to create a firefighter rehabilitation system; (b) How do fire departments of similar size to RRFRD provide personnel and training to deliver critical rehabilitation services to firefighters on active fire scenes; (c) Among fire departments experiencing limited staffing levels, what volunteer resources are utilized to provide rehabilitation services on active fire scenes; and (d) Are mutual aid resources from neighboring fire departments utilized to provide firefighter rehabilitation and medical monitoring to fire departments which have limited staffing levels?"

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United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/
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