In Case You Missed It: Recommended Reads for Public Safety Agencies
It’s hard to keep up with all the interesting developments in the world of public safety. We want to make sure you don’t miss any of the good stuff, so we’ve collected several of our favorite first responder-focused articles from the last year. From preventing dangerous drug exposure to updated firefighting techniques, this is the news you need to know
New Recommendations Address Basement and Below-Grade Fires
Firefighters face increased risk when fighting fires in basements or floors below-grade level, making it more likely they’ll suffer burns, asphyxiation or entrapment after a floor collapse. This document from NIOSH discusses ways to assess and access these fires, and offers recommendations for strategy and tactics along with a case study and a list of controls for before, during and after an incident.
Help First Responders Manage Mental Health
First responders may struggle with post-traumatic mental health issues such as suicidal thoughts and substance abuse, but are reluctant to seek help for fear of appearing “weak” or “unfit for duty.” To address these concerns, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has created several resources designed to support first responders coping with behavioral health issues after a traumatic incident.
Video Recommends Fentanyl Precautions for First Responders
All first responders are at risk of exposure to fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid that is often mixed with, or mistaken for, heroin. Fentanyl may be present in many forms and can be inhaled or absorbed through contact with skin, so it’s important to know how to prevent unintended exposure. The video, created by the Department of Justice, includes testimonials, personal protective equipment recommendations and steps to mitigate exposure, including decontamination processes.
Appearances Matter in Policing
The items your officers wear and carry while on duty create an impression on the public. At times, they have been introduced as evidence at trial to establish that individuals, or even entire departments, were prone to overuse of force or carried racial biases. Make sure your officers project professionalism on the job with these recommendations from our partner organization, Lexipol.
Prepare for Fireground Challenges with a Focus on Fitness
Firefighters who want to keep up with the demands of the job should aim beyond simply being “in shape.” Instead, members of the fire service should train with their specific job needs in mind. These articles lay out critical components of a successful firefighter workout program, including recommendations for cardio, strength training and warmup/cooldown.
Help Prevent Cancer and Other Health Issues Among Firefighters
According to research from NIOSH, firefighters have higher rates of digestive, oral, respiratory and urinary cancers than the general public. Help protect your fire service members with these 11 best practices for minimizing the risk of cancer among firefighters. Recommendations cover personal protective equipment, cleaning procedures, incident documentation and targeted health behaviors.
Prevent Fatigue Among EMS Workers
Work-related fatigue is common among emergency medical services workers, despite the importance of decision-making and safe driving in emergency patient care. Research shows EMS workers often have poor sleep quality and don’t log enough hours of shut-eye each night. To reduce fatigue experienced by EMS workers, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the National Association of State EMS Officials created a set of guidelines that includes recommendations for shift length, fatigue assessments, caffeine use and training on fatigue management.
More Items of Interest
- EMC Insurance—Public Sector Resources
- Lexipol: Today’s Tips
- U.S. Fire Administration—Risk Management Practices in the Fire Service
- U.S. Secret Service—Enhancing School Safety Using a Threat Assessment Model
- International Association of Fire Chiefs—Safety and Health Resources
- FireEngineering.com—Training Minutes
- National Criminal Justice Reference Service—Law Enforcement Resources