2021 Safety Stand Down Theme Focuses on Rebuilding Rehab
Firefighting puts intense strain on firefighters, both physically and mentally, and yet rehab frequently doesn’t get the consideration it should. Many think simply providing food and beverages to firefighters constitutes a rehab program. Thus, the reason that the focus of the 2021 Safety Stand Down campaign will be “Rebuild Rehab.”
During the week of June 20-26, fire departments are advised to suspend all non-emergency activities to conduct training that helps responders reframe their thinking around rehab. In advance of that designated week, fire department leaders and trainers are asked to revisit their rehab program to ensure that post-incident and post-training protocol adequately addresses the health and safety of firefighters.
Effective rehab programs evaluate both a firefighter’s physiological and psychological wellbeing and ensure that those on the front line are ready to respond to the next emergency. Rehab programs should encompass all areas of health, including cardiac, nutrition, exposure, mental health, hydration, and heat stress.
Fire personnel can find best practices and benchmarks within NFPA 1584 Standard on the Rehabilitation Process for Members During Emergency Operations and Training Exercises. A wide array of topical information, training, and resources is also available at www.safetystanddown.org; the site will be updated periodically with new tips and tools leading up to Safety Stand Down in June so that departments can plan their education and awareness activities.
Safety Stand Down is 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). The awareness campaign is supported by national and international fire and emergency service organizations, including the Fire Department Safety Officers Association. NFPA will once again launch a Fire Service Safety Stand Down Quiz this spring to 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.