By Kenny Fent, PhD, CIH, CDR, USPHS
Research Industrial Hygienist/Team Lead, National Firefighter Registry Program
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
We are excited to share our latest updates from the Registry. Like many of you, my colleagues and I continue to work on COVID-19 response efforts. As I mentioned in previous newsletters, I encourage you to regularly check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for updated COVID-19 guidance. On the website you will find guidance to protect public health, including guidance for firefighters and EMS providers, as well as frequently asked questions for wildland firefighters.
I would also like to remind you of the communication toolkit CDC developed to help employers build confidence in their workforce for the important new COVID-19 vaccine. The toolkit will help employers across various industries provide information about COVID-19 vaccines, increase awareness about vaccination benefits, and address common questions and concerns. The toolkit contains a variety of resources, including key messages, FAQs, posters, newsletter content, and more.
We continue to make progress on the National Firefighter Registry (NFR) here at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). As part of our efforts to create a robust and secure registration system, we will be holding another meeting with the NFR Subcommittee, which will be open to the public. Read more about the next meeting below.
We are also excited to share some new NFR resources with you. Read on for the newest program details and stay connected with the NFR by visiting www.cdc.gov/NFR. Please stay safe and well. We look forward to seeing or hearing from you in the future.
National Firefighter Registry Subcommittee Meeting
The National Firefighter Registry Subcommittee will meet on August 13, 2021
We are eager to meet once again with the National Firefighter Registry Subcommittee (NFRS) to update them on our progress and future plans. NIOSH’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) established the NFRS to provide independent advice and guidance from a range of experts, including public health practitioners, epidemiologists, clinicians with cancer expertise, career firefighters, state health officials, and officials from state departments of homeland security. The NFRS previously provided valuable input as we developed the NFR protocol—the project road map—which outlines all aspects of the NFR and how it will be conducted.
During the August 13th meeting, the NFR team will provide a project status report. We will also discuss the proposed design for the NFR enrollment system.
To see more about the NFRS, including the complete agenda for the August 13th meeting and how to register and join virtually, please visit the NFRS web page. We encourage everyone who is interested in the NFR to join the meeting.
Welcome Dr. Steven M. Moffatt!
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Steven M. Moffatt is joining the NFRS. Dr. Moffatt is taking the place previously filled by Dr. Virginia Weaver, who stepped down due to a new career opportunity. Dr. Moffatt is the Executive Director of the National Institute for Public Safety Health, and the Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Ascension Public Safety Medical. Dr. Moffatt has extensive experience working with the fire service as a clinician and researcher and we look forward to gaining from his expertise.
Welcome Dr. Moffatt, and thanks again to Dr. Weaver for her time on the NFRS. We wish her the best in the future.
National Firefighter Cancer Symposium
We are looking forward to participating in the National Firefighter Cancer Symposium taking place June 10-12 in Orlando, Florida. Our virtual presentation is currently scheduled for June 10 between 1:30 -3:00 pm EDT. We will give an update on the NFR and discuss how NFR data may be shared with external researchers to maximize the potential impact of the data on firefighter health and wellness. The Symposium will be a hybrid in-person and virtual event and virtual registration for the event is free. We hope to see you there!
Next Steps for the NFR
- Continue developing the NFR web portal for participant registration
- Continue conversations with firefighters, fire departments, state agencies, and other partners about the best way to share information on the NFR and obtain their support
- Continue planning for an online symposium that will provide an opportunity to share the most current NFR information with partners