The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) are pleased to announce the 2009 Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week (also known as Safety Week) to be held the week of June 14-20, 2009.
Protect Yourself: Your Safety, Health and Survival Are Your Responsibility encourages chiefs and fire/EMS personnel to focus on what they personally can do to manage risk and enhance their health and safety. This year’s theme reflects the need for personal responsibility and accountability within a strong safety culture.
Recommended activities and materials will incorporate four key areas where standard operating procedures, policies and initiatives along with the training and enforcement that support them can limit fire/EMS personnel’s risk of injury or death:
Safety Emergency Driving (Enough is Enough End Senseless Death)
- Lower speeds stop racing to the scene. Drive safely and arrive alive to help others.
- Utilize seat belts never drive or ride without them.
- Stop at every intersection look in all directions and then proceed in a safe manner.
Health Firefighter Heart Disease and Cancer Education and Prevention
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco products.
- Get active.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Get regular health screenings.
Survival Structural Size-Up and Situational Awareness
- Keep apprised of different types of building materials and construction used in your community.
- Develop a comprehensive size-up checklist.
- Always complete a 360° walk of the structure to collect valuable, operational decision-making information.
- Learn the practice of reading smoke.
- Be familiar with the accepted rules of engagement.
- Learn your accountability system and use it.
- Master your tools and equipment.
- Remain calm and concentrate.
Chiefs Be the Leader in Safety
- Become personally engaged in safety and make it part of your strategic vision for the department.
- Be willing to make the tough decisions regarding safety policies and practices and their implementation.
- Hold members of the organization accountable for their safety and the safety of those with whom they work.
- Ensure that resources are available to accomplish activities safely and effectively.
Every fire/EMS department will be urged to participate in Safety Week to suspend all non-emergency activity and instead focus entirely on fire/EMS health, safety and wellness until all shifts and personnel have taken part. An entire week is provided to ensure that each shift and duty crew can spend one day focusing on firefighter safety, health and survival.
Information is now available on the Safety Week website at www.iafc.org/safetyweek.