Safety & Health

It is critical for emergency service organizations (ESOs) to ensure the health and safety of their members. The inability of an organization to maintain high standards of safety or to ensure the health both mental and physical of their members increases risks to the individual member and the community as a whole.

  • Roadside incident

10 Practical Tips for Responding and Operating on Roadway and Highway Incidents

Roadway emergency operations are the #1 traumatic risk firefighters face. Here’s how to minimize the risk.
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Accident & Injury Investigation

The purpose of this guideline is to provide a process for investigating accidents / incidents.
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Administrative Checklist: Cardiac Events

Summarizes key points to identify, research and potentially include in guiding documents for handling cardiac events by on-duty members.
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An Examination of the Benefits of Health Promotion for the National Fire Service

This study indicates that the majority of the firefighters did not meet the NFPA minimum post-cardiac event exercise tolerance threshold.

Best Practices for EMS and Fire Response to Incidents During Civil Unrest

NHTSA Office of EMS and U.S. Fire Administration share resources to help local EMS and fire departments safely respond to civil unrest.
  • VCOS Best Practices Cancer Poster

Best Practices for Preventing Firefighter Cancer Posters

The poster provides specific actions to take to address the cancer epidemic and protect firefighters.
  • Best Practices to Minimize Injuries and Deaths When Using Privately Owned Vehicles for Response

Best Practices to Minimize Injuries and Deaths When Using Privately Owned Vehicles for Responses

This report explores best practices while using privately owned vehicles (POV) for ESO responses.
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Bullying and Workplace Violence Prevention Toolkit

A toolkit of policies, tips and tools to help prevent bullying and violence in the workplace.
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Cancer Prevention Resources

Prevent firefighter cancer with these resources.
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Cardiac Awareness Toolkit

A toolkit of policies, tips and tools to help prevent untimely cardiac deaths. "If you don't feel well, don't make it your farewell."
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Carrying Concealed Weapons (CCW) On Duty

If state law and fire/ems departments allow carrying concealed weapons on duty, what are the necessary considerations or best practices?
  • Coronavirus COVID-19 resources for fire and EMS chiefs

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Resources for Fire Chiefs

Centralized location for information and tools for fire and EMS agencies as they prepare and respond to COVID-19
Chief, fire personnel on scene

COVID-19 Cost Recovery for Departments (FEMA)

Details and guidance from FEMA on fiscal resources to support communities in COVID-19 prevention, response and recovery.
  • COVID-19 PPE Decontamination Recommendations infographic

COVID-19 PPE Decontamination Recommendations

A quick reference infographic
  • COVID Quick Reference Guide

COVID-19 PPE Decontamination Recommendations - Quick Reference Info-graphic

Quick Reference Info-graphic - Download and scan to stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 Guidance
  • Asprin

Effect of Aspirin on Hemostatic and Vascular Function After Live FireFighting

This study shows that low dose aspirin can positively influence the negative physiologic factors associated with firefighting.
  • Emergency Services Road Map to Health & Wellness

Emergency Services Road Map to Health & Wellness

Next generation Fire Department Guide to NFPA 1582: Info, education & sample documents toward implementing a comprehensive wellness program.
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Emergency Vehicle Operations Guidelines

Example of emergency vehicle operations guidelines.
  • Evaluation of the fire protection effectiveness of fluorine free firefighting foams

Evaluation of the fire protection effectiveness of fluorine free firefighting foams

This study was to determine the firefighting capabilities for four fluorine. free foams and one short chain C6 AFFF formulation
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FEMA 'Ready' Program

Be 'Ready' for Emergencies and Natural Disasters
  • Firefighter face mask

Fire Exposures of Firefighter Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus Facepiece Lenses

Thermally degraded and melted SCBA facepiece lenses have been identified as a contributing factor in certain firefighter fatalities.
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Firefighter Near Miss Reporting System

Turn shared lessons learned into actions. Protect the next shift - share YOUR story.
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Free Whitepaper: The Importance of Flame Resistant (FR) Station Wear

Details why FR station wear should be an integral part of every firefighter’s PPE.
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Guidance to Avoid Counterfeit Respirators

Resources to help departments avoid purchasing counterfeit respirators
  • A Healthcare Provider

Healthcare Provider’s Guide to Firefighter Physicals

Research-based guide to help primary care providers evaluate, treat and monitor firefighters' unique health and wellness needs.
  • IAFC KnowledgeNet

IAFC KnowledgeNet

Discuss issues and solutions with other IAFC members online, share SOPs and other resources
  • IAFC Position Statement

IAFC Position: Assignment of Portable Radios/Two-Way Communications Devices to Every Firefighter on the Fireground

IAFC adopted the position that every firefighter operating on the fireground be equipped with a portable radio/two-way communications device.
  • IAFC Position Statement

IAFC Position: Drug and Alcohol-Free Awareness

The IAFC supports and encourages drug and alcohol-free fire and emergency service agencies/organizations.
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IAFC Position: Firefighter Safety and Prevention of Firefighter Injuries and Deaths

IAFC Supports the Need for Constant Scrutiny and Upgrade of Policies/Practices Related to Firefighter Safety and Prevention of 
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IAFC Position: Health and Fitness Programs for Every Department

The IAFC supports the adoption and implementation of a comprehensive health and fitness program in every fire department
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IAFC Position: IAFC/IAFF Candidate Physical Ability Test

IAFC Supports the IAFC/IAFF Candidate Physical Ability Test IAFC and the IAFF recognize the need of the fire service to ...
  • IAFC Position Statement

IAFC Position: IAFC/IAFF Fire Service Joint Labor Management Wellness-Fitness Initiative

IAFC Supports the IAFC/IAFF Fire Service Joint Labor Management Wellness-Fitness Initiative  A physical fitness
  • IAFC Position Statement

IAFC Position: Need for Annual Occupational Medical Exams and Fitness Evaluations

The IAFC supports the implementation of annual medical examinations and fitness evaluations for all firefighters.
  • IAFC Position Statement

IAFC Position: PASS Devices and NIOSH Firefighter Fatality Investigations

The IAFC is providing information on the PASS Devices and NIOSH Firefighter Fatality Investigations.
  • IAFC Position Statement

IAFC Position: Seatbelt Usage

Motor vehicle accidents account for approximately twenty-five percent of firefighter line of duty deaths and many injuries per
  • PFT

IAFC/IAFF/ACE Peer Fitness Training Certification Program Candidate Information Guide

Provide a fitness trainer standard consistent with the health and fitness needs of the Fire Service throughout the United States and Canada.
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LODD Guidelines (Denton, TX)

Denton County Fire Chief's Association Policy for Line of Duty Death
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LODD Guidelines (Montgomery, NY)

Montgomery Fire Department firefighter funeral guidelines
  • VCOS logo - IAFC Volunteer and Combination Officers Section

Management Minute: New Techniques

6 things the fire service needs.
  • Flooding in Marblehead, MA caused by Hurricane Sandy. The Birkes ( CC 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Model Procedures for Response of Emergency Vehicles During Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

Guide toward response policy to minimize risk to personnel and protect human, physical and cyber infrastructure before, during, after storms
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Multiple Operational Guidelines (Ponderosa Vol Fire Dept, TX)

Standard operational guidelines provided by Ponderosa Vol Fire Dept. as samples.
  • Row House Firefighting

NIOSH Row Firefighting Tactics Factsheet-Poster

This fact sheet and poster highlights tactics for fighting row house fires.
  • PFOA 3D model and foam


Key info on PFAS chemicals that may be present in firefighting foam, potential health risks and actions being taken by state & local governments
  • Public Safety Communications & 911 Centers Guidance During COVID-19 Pandemic

Public Safety Communications & 911 Centers Guidance During COVID-19 Pandemic

Guide to help departments evaluate, take steps to ensure resources, mitigation strategies and tools are in place to manage uncertainties

Rapid Intervention Operations Manual

Sample rapid intervention operations manual.
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Rapid Intervention Team (Pierce Fire Rescue)

This guideline outlines a procedure to ensure risks faced by personnel are minimized through sound practices and safety procedures.
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RAPT - Resilience Analysis and Planning Tool (FEMA)

Updated RAPT provides census-tract level demographic info and infrastructure locations related to COVID-19 planning, response efforts.

Removing Diesel Exhaust from Apparatus Bays

Exhaust capturing systems are the most effective to prevent firefighter exposures in addition to other systems.
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Response Considerations: Incidents Involving Crowds During COVID-19 Pandemic

Guidance and checklist for urban, suburban, rural departments responding to mass gathering incidents during COVID-19
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Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service

White paper describing the status of cancer in the fire service.
  • ESRI U.S. County COVID-19 Cases & Planning Report

U.S. County COVID-19 Cases & Planning Report

Access Covid-19 cases data in the United States by county. Infographic updated daily.
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Using COVID-19 Resources for Local Planning & Response to Wildland Fires

Use of Interim Screening Protocol & Tool, additional considerations toward policies to mitigate COVID-19 risk in wildland fire response
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VCOS and NVFC Lavender Ribbon Report: Best Practices for Preventing Firefighter Cancer

Information, statistics and resources on the 11 best practices to prevent firefighter cancer.
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VCOS Yellow Ribbon Report - Under the Helmet: Performing an Internal Size-Up

Background, statistics, resources, and action items toward a proactive approach to mental wellness in the fire & emergency service
  • VISION The VCOS International Strategic Initiative Online Network

VISION: The VCOS International Strategic Initiative Online Network

Resources that focus on specific areas of challenges relating to creating and sustaining viable emergency response programs