They’re your neighbours, friends and families who save lives – Story of Local Firefighters
(from left) Captain Doug Browne, Eddie Wong, Jeff Quigg, Ryan Redwood, Captain Brad Andrews
local boy working at the local fire station for the local community," says Doug
Browne, fire captain at Station 227 in the Beaches. Located at Queen Street
just east of Woodbine, Doug has been captain there for the past 8 years; he's
been a fire fighter since he was 26 years old. And he's not the only "local
boy" at Station 227. Thirty-two years ago, on the day he was standing in the
line-up to be recruited for fire fighting services, he stood next to his
childhood Beaches friend, Ryan Fairlie. Ryan now also works at Station 227.
Others at the station from the community include Jeff Quigg, and the acting
captain of Doug's platoon, Rick McKee.
local firefighters, we do a lot for the community - and it's not just riding
around in a shiny red truck," says Doug. "Every time we walk back through the
station door from a call, we know we have helped someone, it is a very good feeling."
a typical shift at the fire station starts at 7 AM and last 24 hours. There are
five firefighters to a shift, the "platoon" consists of a captain, driver, two
firefighters plus one who's always on assignment away from the station. There's
great camaraderie among the firefighters, who "live" at the station during
their shift and make meals for each other.
life and responsibilities of the local firefighters are extremely
serious. These local heroes do save lives.
we get here," says Doug, "are substantial, and when we respond, our
firefighters know they are dealing with their own neighbours facing a
difficult, often a life and death situation." Local incidents where Doug's
platoon was called include the accident last spring where a car went through a
dance studio window on Spruce Hill Road, and a two-alarm fire that broke out in
a building during this summer's Jazz Festival.
trained as a carpenter, Doug made the switch into fire fighting after a
customer failed to pay him. Fire fighting wasn't an afterthought, however. He'd
been inspired by what it meant to serve this way from his earliest memories.
His father, Chief Bill Browne, had served as a firefighter in the former city
of Toronto all of his life.
child," recalls Doug "I remember every morning seeing my father in his uniform,
very handsome, kissing my mother goodbye before he went to work. It was a
knew the respect from the community. As he walked down the street, children
would wave to him because in their eyes, he also was a hero."
finally told his father that he wanted to be a firefighter, his father was
were fellow fire fighters, Dave Strauss, Colin MacDonald and Doug Browne were
teammates on the Dorset Park Bruins hockey team Browne's mother, Rodene Browne,
was born and raised in a house on Hambly Avenue, where Doug grew up. Like
most of the local fire fighters when Doug left the family home, he didn't move
far. He lived on Wheeler, and then Glen Manor - "always within walking distance
of the station." He attended Glen Ames Public School, Williamson Road Junior
School and Malvern Collegiate. He's also has been a member of the Balmy Beach
Club since he was ten years old.
his career, Doug worked at stations around the city, but eventually made it
back to his own local station when promoted to captain. He's been captain for
eight years, after being assistant captain for six.
firefighters at station #227 are always humbled by the support of the local
Beachers. There are many instances when people drop in to say hello, drop off
cookies, or send cards. "At Christmas time," Doug jokes, "I think we all gain a
bit of weight because of the goodies people bring them."
return, the crews never miss a chance to respond. When not on a call, they make
a point of spotting every child who waves to the firefighters on the truck and
wave back. And the door at the station is always open for visitors, and inside
the station are two brass poles.
use the poles these days," says Doug, "But we often lift a child up to it so
they can pretend they are sliding down."
recently underwent a $2 million renovation project to the exterior. The wood in
the tower and clock was replaced with metal, the roof repaired, along with
other mechanical and structural renovations.
1905, Station 227 was one of the original fire stations for the old City of
Toronto (many also remember it as Kew Beach Fire Hall), On the main floor you
can even see where the horses were originally tied! The three-storey building
features an 80-foot tower. Towers were common in old fire halls because they
were used to hang the heavy hoses. The clock was added later.
Kingston fire fighters Volunteer for Meals on Wheels
Sixteen regular clients in the local Meals On Wheels program had
someone very different than their usual volunteers show up with their
lunch Thursday morning.
Instead of a volunteer's vehicle, a fire truck pulled up to their homes and five firefighters took their daily meal to them.
It is the first time the VON, which operates the Meals on Wheels
program locally, has partnered with a community group to deliver the
meals, said Karen Lowry, the program's co-ordinator. Usually they have a
stable of volunteers using their own vehicles.
She explained one of their employees, Karri Belzile, is married to a
firefighter and put forward the idea of having them make the deliveries.
"I know one of the things they like to do is give back to the
community, even in their off-time, and this is a great way to do it,"
Lowry said as the five firefighters taking part in the morning run
arrived at the VON office. "They are going to be engaging with a segment
of the population that sometimes is overlooked a little bit. And it
will give the clients a chance to ask some questions if they have
concerns about their smoke detector or anything like that."
Firefighter Roger Belzile explained the initiative was a kind of
extension to Kingston Fire and Rescue's Wake Up Kingston residential
smoke alarm program. It runs through the summer and sees firefighters go
door to door in the city's neighbourhoods asking homeowners if they can
come in and check to make sure the residence has the right number of
smoke alarms according to legislative requirements and that they are all
The program gives firefighters a chance to interact with the
community while providing education, fire safety information and the
ability to reinforce the need for home escape plans.
Delivering the meals gave them another chance to do that, Belzile said.
"From our perspective, it is giving back to the community," he said.
The five firefighters, including one captain, were all off-duty and
were allowed to use a spare pumper truck to make their rounds.
As well as Belzile, they were Capt. Scott Morrison, John Serviss, Brad Dowdell and Derek Childs.
"We are volunteering our time right now," Belzile, who works out of the Brock Street station, said.
The possibility of prompting more people to volunteer as drivers was another goal of the initiative, Morrison said.
"And it's great to get out in the community and help out."
After checking in with Lowry at the VON offices on The Parkway, the
firefighters in their pumper headed up to Heathfield, the Sisters of
Providence mother house on Princess Street, where the meals they were to
deliver were being prepared in the kitchen.
They were a little early, so they had to wait until the kitchen staff had everything cooked and placed in containers.
Then it was off to the first stop, a home off Elliott Avenue where
the client was already waiting for them on his elevated porch.
He looked shocked as the fire truck pulled up and the five
firefighters started walking up his driveway. They reached up and passed
him his meal through the slats around the porch before asking if they
could go inside to check his smoke detectors.
After making sure everything was in order inside, they were off again for the next home.
Meals on Wheels co-ordinator Lowry said the program delivers 3,200
meals each month to an average of 150 clients per day, five days a week.
The deliveries are made by about 50 volunteers, a number that is down a bit from the usual contingent.
Lowry explained most of them are retired seniors who have been with
the program for quite a while and, as they get older, they need to take a
"Running up and down stairs and carrying the bags, it's a lot of work," he said.
So they are always looking for new volunteers. She hopes the new
initiative with the fire department might produce a volunteer or two or
maybe even start up a regular monthly shift by off-duty firefighters.
"That would be really great. We are in need of volunteers right now,
so when community groups like this step forward, it is a great way for
all of us to work together to get the job done."
The Executive Board has received a request by President Darryl Thompson of the Caledon Professional Fire Fighters for a HOT EDICT for the position of Captain/Training. After consideration of the information provided by the Local, the Executive Board agrees and supports the issuance of a Hot Edict.
We ask that you inform your members of this and encourage them not to apply for the position of Captain/Training of the Caledon Fire Department.
If you have any questions please contact OPFFA DVP Chris Varcoe or Caldeon PFFA President Thompson.
Inquest needed into the death of Brother Dominic Parker
Brother Dominic Parker, a Markham fire fighter, was killed in 2013 by an individual with a mental health disorder. Brother Parker's wife, has been seeking a coroner's inquest on her husband's death, because she believes that Dominic's death could have been prevented with early intervention and assistance to the individual with mental health issues.
Mrs. Parker has started a petition which I encourage all of you to share with family and friends;
sign in support:
We all understand the importance of mental health. Lets pull together and join the petition to ensure protocols are in place so that another tragedy like this, doesn't occur.
If you have any questions, please contact Markham President Jeremy Acton by phone (416-802-9274) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ontario recognizes PTSD as work-related for first responders
By:Rob FergusonQueen's Park Bureau, Toronto Star. Published on Tue Apr 05 2016
Police, firefighters and paramedics with post-traumatic stress disorder will no longer have to prove it was caused by tragedies they handled on the job, erasing a major roadblock to prompt treatment.
MPPs from all parties unanimously passed a law Tuesday recognizing the disorder as a work-related illness, which advocates hope will ease a spate of suicides among first responders.
“This is going to save a lot of lives,” said Carmen Santoro, president of the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association.
Once the bill receives royal assent — expected soon — the onerous process in which first responders had to detail how they were traumatized by grisly events in the course of their duties should draw to a close.
“They won’t have to re-live it. They won’t have to go through ‘which date did you see that victim at a scene?’ It’s presumed to have happened on the job because of the number of times we’re exposed to those incidents,” Santoro added, noting his and other groups will be watching the Workplace Safety Insurance Board closely.
“It should be automatic. We’ll see how it goes.”
Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown said “too many people are struggling, fighting with WSIB to get treatment” under the current rules.
Labour Minister Kevin Flynn said it was “gratifying” to get all-party support and noted first responders are twice as likely to get PTSD as other workers.
He rejected a push to broadly cover nurses and other workers, such as child protection staff, probation and parole officers and provincial bailiffs, as requested by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.
“Where a nurse is engaged in a first-responder situation, which we believe they are in corrections, we’ve extended the coverage.”
The law also applies to correctional officers in jails and dispatchers for police, fire and ambulance services. Alberta and Manitoba have similar legislation.
“We will continue to lobby the province to follow Manitoba’s lead and include all frontline workers,” said OPSEU president Warren “Smokey” Thomas. “Workers in many occupations face trauma at work.”
New Democrat MPP Cheri DiNovo — who has introduced five private member’s bills in the last seven years to extend automatic recognition of PTSD coverage to first responders — said she was disappointed the legislation did not go further.
“We would like to see some broadening of the scope.”
Still, DiNovo said, the law is a step forward toward the goal of getting first responders treatment as quickly as possible.
“They want to get back to work and they can get back to work. That saves money.”
For the firefighters, Santoro said he wishes the law would allow the cases of first responders who have been rejected over the years to be re-opened.
Flynn hopes the bill’s passage will ease the stigma of PTSD and help first responders to come forward for help when they need it, which a new $300,000 advertising campaign encourages them to do.
“It’s a mental health issue . . . society just hasn’t paid enough attention to mental health issues in general,” he told reporters.
“If we can prevent people from getting PTSD…we think that is the preferable route.”
Also under the legislation, employers must submit PTSD prevention plans to the government and there will be an annual summit on the disorder where experts, employers and first responders can exchange new ideas and best practices.
“It can be managed, it can be dealt with in a good way, in a meaningful way, but at this point in time it’s incurable,” Flynn added, noting some first responders carry the effects for the rest of their lives
Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn Announces PTSD for First Responders
Ontario has become the latest province to formally recognize the serious
toll that working as a first responder can take on a person's mental health.
On February 18, the province introduced legislation that recognizes
post-traumatic stress as an occupational illness among fire fighters and other
first responders, which will make it easier for those suffering from
post-traumatic stress to access workers' compensation benefits and proper
treatment. The legislation will benefit the 11,000 members of the Ontario
Professional Fire Fighters Association (OPFFA) and thousands of other first
responders in Canada's largest province.
Dozens of OPFFA members crammed into the Ontario Legislature in Toronto
to watch Labour Minister Kevin Flynn introduce the Supporting Ontario's First
Responders Act (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), which will remove the need for
first responders to link post-traumatic stress to the workplace, and which will
also require those who employ first responders to implement post-traumatic
stress prevention plans.
Ontario's legislation is part of a broader strategy on post-traumatic
stress that the Ontario government announced earlier this year, and follows in
the footsteps of Alberta and British Columbia, which enacted workers'
compensation laws addressing post-traumatic stress and mental disorders,
respectively, in 2012, and Manitoba, which enacted similar legislation for
first responders last year.
OPFFA President Carmen Santoro thanked Minister Flynn and Community
Safety and Correctional Services Minister Yasir Naqvi for their action on such
an important issue.
"The Ontario government is recognizing what we have always known -
mental health is just as important as physical health," Santoro said. "With
this addition to our presumptive legislation, fire fighters suffering from
post-traumatic stress will be able to focus on getting healthy and not on navigating
a complicated bureaucratic regime."
Santoro also acknowledged the hard work that OPFFA members have done in
the political arena. "Our locals have done tremendous work building
relationships with politicians from all parties. It's really thanks to them
that we have been able to get widespread support for the government's
Minister Flynn said the legislation will give first responders "the
peace of mind they deserve" and that the accompanying prevention, resiliency
and research initiatives round out a comprehensive approach to post-traumatic
stress that everyone can be proud of. "Given all that we ask of our first
responders, it is only fair that we support them when they need us most."
The Ontario Government says
evidence shows that first responders are at least twice as likely compared to
the general population to suffer post-traumatic stress, due to the risk of
routine exposure to traumatic stressors.
Post-traumatic stress coverage is a welcome addition to Ontario's
existing presumptive laws for professional fire fighters, which were first
enacted in 2007 covering eight types of cancers, plus heart disease.
Legislation phasing in an additional six cancers was enacted in 2014.
According to the Tema Conter Memorial Trust, a leading national
post-traumatic stress advocacy group, 10 Canadian first responders have
committed suicide so far in 2016. Last year, the group recorded 39 first
responder suicides, including nine fire fighters.
Earlier today, the Ontario Legislature passed Bill 109, An
Act to amend various statutes with respect to employment and labour. It has
received Royal Assent and the amendments it made to the Fire Protection and
Prevention Act are now in force.
Among other things, this Act ensures that our rights are
protected and brings us on equal footing with other organized labour groups in
the province. Bill 109 also offers protection under the Labour Relations Act
against such unfair practices as interfering with bargaining rights or
intimidating and coercing members. The bill moves enforcement of our disputes
out of the courts and under the Ontario Labour Relations Board, where they will
be heard by labour relations experts instead of judges. These disputes can also
be expedited in the same way that they are for other labour relations groups.
This expedited grievance arbitration process will require that discharge
grievances be heard within as few as 35 days from the date of grievance and
other grievances within 51 days of the grievance filing. Finally, Bill 109 will
require that the Rand Formula be included in collective agreements at the request
of an association.
One final provision of Bill 109 will affect the way in which
survivor benefits are calculated. The WSIB and its Appeals Tribunals are now
required to calculate survivor benefits on the basis of the average earnings of
the deceased worker's occupation at the time of the worker's injury or
diagnosis instead of statutory minimums.
We would like to express our appreciation to the Minister of
Labour, Kevin Flynn, and to his staff, who shepherded the Bill through the
Legislative Assembly. This is another example of the kind of support this
government has consistently offered fire fighters.
Clarington Fire's new EpiPens save bee-stung senior
Emergency medicine for severe allergic reactions added to fire truck equipment just this year
Clarington This Week
By Jennifer O'Meara
CLARINGTON -- A Newcastle firefighter saved an unresponsive senior from a severe allergic reaction by using the department’s new EpiPens, added to Clarington fire truck equipment just this year.
“We put our first one to use,” said Clarington Fire Chief Gord Weir.
A man in his mid-70s who is highly allergic was stung by a bee on Friday, Aug. 7. He didn’t have an EpiPen on him and had a friend drive him to a Newcastle pharmacy to buy one. The pharmacy was out of stock and the man began to go into anaphylactic shock.
Emergency crews were called and the firefighters were at the pharmacy within three minutes. By the time they had arrived the man was unresponsive. Firefighters injected the EpiPen into the man’s right thigh.
By the time paramedics arrived, the senior was again able to open his eyes when spoken to by emergency workers. He was taken to hospital.
Epinephrine auto-injectors, or EpiPens, are used to help treat anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction some people have to certain foods, insect bites or medications. Patients suffer swelling, hives, low blood pressure and increased heart rate. If anaphylactic shock isn’t treated quickly, it can be fatal.
With firefighters often responding to local emergency calls before paramedics, Chief Weir said the pens improve firefighters’ ability to respond to severe allergic reactions.
In the fall of 2014, both adult and child EpiPens were added to the list of life-saving equipment on three Clarington fire trucks. All eight of the municipality’s pumper trucks were carrying the injectors come 2015. Firefighters were trained in how to use the EpiPens before the medicine was placed on the trucks.
March 18, 2015
Winnipeg Free Press
We, the leadership of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS), express our profound dismay with
Mary Agnes Welch’s column of March 11, 2015 (“Firefighters skilled at manipulating the political system”). Ms. Welch had an opportunity to research and report facts as a service to your readers; instead, the article used only select facts that do not paint an accurate picture.
In this limited space, it is difficult to fully describe the tremendously successful integrated EMS-Fire model of the WFPS. Perhaps we can interest the Winnipeg Free Press in publishing a series of articles to fulfill that task. For now, we are hopeful the following facts will be published to assist readers in seeing beyond the limits of the article:
The majority of paramedics who work on Winnipeg’s ambulances are primary care paramedics (PCPs). They hold the same emergency medical education, qualification, and licence as those who work on Winnipeg’s fire trucks. In fact, the vast majority of paramedics in Manitoba are PCPs. Ms.
Welch’s characterization of “hand-holding” is as wrong as it is offensive. Regardless of the uniform they wear, PCPs are the foundation of Manitoba’s EMS system. PCPs are proud of the emergency medical care they provide, as are we.
A community’s fire service is part of its infrastructure which attracts investment of business, industry, and residents. Proper fire resourcing reduces the insurance premiums of homeowners and business owners, on the order of $2 in savings for every $1 of taxation to support fire service.
Fortunately, fires don’t occur continually, resulting in an inherent response capacity in the fire protection service.
Placement and staffing of fire resources is solely determined by response time to all parts of the City for fire-related calls. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guideline 1710 describes the response time standards to which urban fire services are held.
Integrated fire & EMS departments provide service to almost 60% of Manitoba residents, as this model is also used in Brandon, Thompson, and Shilo. Integrated service has existed in these communities for many years. As well, a number of other Canadian communities employ this model, and it is very common in US centres.
Winnipeg’s integrated model arose in the late 1990s and early 2000s due to the lack of capacity of the existing, standalone EMS service. Using the inherent response capacity in the fire service avoided significant duplication of resources. The integrated model framework was recommended by several independent consultants, was created in the mid 2000’s, and culminated in 2007 with negotiated work sharing agreements. These agreements remain in our practice today.
The popular myth that fire departments bolster their call volumes with medical calls to preserve their staffing is categorically false. In fact, if Winnipeg’s fire service ceased medical response, our staffing and resources would not change at all, and our net cost would increase significantly with the loss of several million dollars of funding we receive for our fire service’s contribution to the EMS system.
Equally false is the notion that sending a fire apparatus to a medical call is a waste of tax dollars. As noted above, that crew and apparatus would be on duty and paid regardless of their involvement in medical response. Indeed, not responding with that crew would truly be a waste of tax dollars.
In 2014, our integrated system provided average travel times to the highest priority calls of 3.72 minutes. Had we relied only on our ambulance resources, the average travel time would have been 6.73 minutes. Welch’s statement that “speed doesn’t matter” on these calls demonstrates a lack of understanding of medical and traumatic emergencies. We are confident that anyone who has called 911 for themselves or a loved one in medical distress would agree that having a skilled paramedic arrive almost 50% faster is critical, regardless of the vehicle in which they arrive.
In 2014, fire-based PCPs responded alone to 11,192 calls. Almost 90% of these were “person down,” “falls,” or “assist police.” This represents the call volume of approximately three, 24-hour ambulances. Without fire involvement, these three ambulances would have been unavailable for calls more likely to require advanced care and/or transport to hospital. The addition of three ambulances would further add to the tax burden.
Fire crews DO NOT respond to every medical call. We have used our many years of experience to hone the system responses to send the most appropriate resources to different types of calls.
Of 63,000 calls for emergency medical service in 2014, fire resources attended just over 31,000, less than half. We send resources according to the initial information in the call, then scale up or down as the situation presents.
·The efficiency of our system is demonstrated by impartial comparison to other cities. Winnipeg participates in the Ontario Municipal Benchmarking Initiative (OMBI), which involves many facets of municipal services. The 2013 data shows Winnipeg as providing among the highest number of ambulance service hours servicing the most calls at the lowest cost per hour among 13 cities. Winnipeg was among the busiest fire services, with the second lowest unit staffing costs among nine cities.
All of these bona fide facts were available to Ms. Welch for the asking. We publicly presented the OMBI data during our budget presentation on March 9, 2015. Regrettably, the only fact that Welch chose to verify with the City was the percentage of female firefighters in the WFPS. Her insertion of this figure to insinuate a gender issue borders on salaciousness.
While the focus of the article was clearly limited to observations on a political landscape, the selectiveness of factual reporting has led to an imbalance that not only slights the paramedics who serve our city, but also does a disservice to your readers by not accurately representing the integrated model citizens are served by. The March 16 column by Dan Lett (“Firefighter-paramedic rift harmful”) exacerbates the misunderstanding of the integrated model and its benefits to our citizens. We respectfully urge the Free Press to address this imbalance.
John A. Lane, BSC Tom Wallace
Chief Deputy Chief
Winnipeg Fire & Paramedic Service Winnipeg Fire & Paramedic Service
Rob Grierson, MD Joe Seewald
Medical Director Deputy Chief
Winnipeg Fire & Paramedic Service Winnipeg Fire & Paramedic Service
Winnipeg Fire & Paramedic Service
Keeping Emergency Responders Safe
Dr. Donald Stewart, Medical Director, Fairfax County Public Safety Occupational
Jim Brinkley, IAFF Director of Health and Safety
So far, the IAFF's
series of videos on Ebola preparedness and response has focused on exposure
protection. In the fourth
video, Dr. Donald Stewart, medical director for the Public Safety
Occupational Health Center in Fairfax County, Virginia, addresses some of the
medical and behavioral concerns related to responding to possible cases of
Watch the entire series of
More information on Ebola preparedness is also available online
and on the IAFF Frontline app. The IAFF will be continuously updating this site with
the latest information on the Ebola virus.
As you may be aware, municipalities across Canada are preparing and revising emergency protocols that deal with how emergency responders react to a potential Ebola patient. The OPFFA has a representative at the Ebola Advisory Table to offer our perspective on this emerging issue.
At a provincial level, the Ministry of Health has described the threat of Ebola to first responders as low risk. Instead, the province wants to ensure we prevent individuals from exposure in the first place. Five airports across Ontario are screening passengers travelling from or through African countries for symptoms. Ten hospitals – including four pediatric hospitals – have been designated as Ebola-ready facilities.
Emergency staff in hospitals have received a directive (Directive 1) detailing their protocols for dealing with a potential Ebola patient. A response protocol for EMS responders is expected in the coming days. We will advise you when it becomes available.
The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history and has spread to multiple countries in West Africa. The first confirmed case in North America was recently reported in Dallas, Texas, where the 9-1-1 system was used to treat and transport the patient to the hospital. The patient has since died. The ambulance crew - all members of Dallas, TX Local 58 - have been taken off duty with pay and are under continuous medical observation at their homes. For more information on what you need to know about Ebola, click here.
It is highly likely that more individuals infected with Ebola will seek assistance from emergency response personnel as the disease spreads. The IAFF is urging every affiliate to conduct a "safety stand down" with their employer and review all infectious exposure policies, procedures and guidelines. You should assess your department's preparedness for responding to and caring for patients with possible symptoms of the Ebola virus and whether you have the equipment and training needed for safely responding to worst-case scenarios in potential Ebola exposures should this virus spread in the United States and Canada.
All policies, procedures and guidelines should at a minimum address the following:
Use standard precautions, including fluid resistant and or impermeable long-sleeved gowns, single or double gloves, eye protections, leg coverings, and disposable shoe covers. The IAFF recommends N95 respirators for all patients with respiratory symptoms.
If there is a potential exposure, or the crew thinks they have been affected, DO NOT return to the firehouse. After transport, remove the unit from service while at the hospital. If an engine and EMS unit both respond, they should stay together throughout the call to keep other fire fighters from potential contamination. Exposure reporting should be activated from the hospital or while in route to the hospital with the patient.
Establish follow-up and reporting measures after caring for a suspected or confirmed Ebola patient.
Develop policies for monitoring and management of EMS personnel potentially exposed to Ebola. Policies should be flexible in terms of the amount of time required for monitoring and potential isolation of exposed personnel.
Establish sick leave policies for personnel that are non-punitive, flexible and consistent with public health guidance.
Ensure that all personnel, including staff who are not directly employed to provide patient care but provide essential daily services, are also aware of the sick leave policies.
Ensure that fire and EMS personnel exposed to blood, bodily fluid, secretions or excretions from a patientwith a suspected or confirmed Ebola virus immediately:
1) Stop working and wash the affected skin surfaces with soap and water and irrigate with a large amount of water or eyewash solution.
2) Contact an occupational health supervisor for assessment and access to post-exposure management services.
3) Receive medical evaluation and follow-up care as appropriate. Medical evaluations should include fever monitoring twice daily throughout the Ebola incubation period, which is two to 21 days.
Establish return-to-work protocols according to EMS agency policy and discussions with local, state and federal public health authorities.
Fire and EMS personnel who develop sudden onset of fever, intense weakness or muscle pains, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pains or any other symptoms after an unprotected exposure should NOT report to work or, if at work, immediately stop working, isolate themselves, notify their supervisor (who should notify local and state health departments as appropriate), contact an occupational health supervisor for assessment and post-exposure management service and comply with work exclusions until they are considered no longer infectious to others.
Identify a single occupational health representative for reporting exposures.
Fit test all personnel for use of N95 masks and provide them, as well as appropriate eye protection.
The transmission of the Ebola virus occurs through direct contact with blood and bodily fluids of an infected person. It can also be transmitted through exposure to objects that are contaminated by the bodily fluids, such as needles. Healthcare workers, including fire fighters and EMS personnel, are at the highest risk of becoming sick because they are exposed daily to many patients with common symptoms of Ebola and other infectious diseases.
The IAFF stresses the importance of consistently using standard precautions during every patient encounter and having the proper training and equipment to safely respond to and care for individuals exhibiting signs of Ebola.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides important guidance documents, most notably the Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for Management of Patients With Known or Suspected Ebloa Virus Disease and EMS Checklist for Ebola Preparedness. For more CDC infection control guidelines, click here.
For more information on what you need to know about Ebola, click here.
ABOUT BOX RUN Box Run is a charitable initiative started by Mike Strange in 2012 in an effort to "knockout" childhood cancer. The goal was to raise awareness and funds by running across a portion of Canada, starting from the point where Terry Fox was forced to stop his run in 1980. The inaugural Box Run took Strange nearly 3,200kms down the Trans-Canada Highway, from Thunder Bay, ON to Victoria, BC. The run raised over $100,000, all of which was donated to Childhood Cancer Canada.
MISSISSAUGA - All fire trucks in Mississauga now carry life-saving EpiPens to treat people experiencing a severe allergic reaction. Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services officials brought the news to City councillors last Wednesday. EpiPens are used to administer ..........read more