Health and Safety

Fatigue relates to a complex interaction of physiological, cognitive, and emotional factors. Fatigue results in slowed reactions, poor judgment, reduced cognitive processing of information, and an inability to continue performing a task or to carry it out at a high, sustained level of accuracy or safety. The pervasive problem of fatigue is due principally to one or more conditions including: lack of sleep; interrupted or poor quality of sleep (which denies opportunities for protracted deep sleeping periods); disrupted circadian work and rest cycles; and illnesses such as sleep apnea.

Click here to read the full International Association of Fire Chiefs report on:

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Firefighters and EMS Responders

2008 Health, Safety and Survival Week Focuses On Long-Term Results
The International Association of Fire Fighters and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) encourage IAFF affiliates and their fire departments to work together during the 2008 Health, Safety and Survival Week to establish a culture of health and safety within the fire/EMS service.
By focusing on long-term results, the Safety, Health and Survival Week, scheduled for June 22-28, is an opportunity for IAFF members and their fire chiefs to take defensive action against dangers that can be controlled or prevented. The goal is for everyone to go home day after day to their loved ones.
Recommended activities and materials will incorporate three 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:

1. Initiate an emergency vehicle safety policy, to include:

        a. Always buckle up.
        b. Always stop at red lights and stop signs.
        c. Always drive at speed limits and defensively.

2. Fully implement the Wellness-Fitness Initiative

        a. Provide annual medical and physical evaluations.
        b. Provide equipment and time for exercise.
        c. Provide nutrition information.

3. Fully implement NFPA 1500, especially sections addressing PPE:

        a. Provide compliant PPE.
        b. Train and enforce use of PPE, including respiratory protection.

For more information, click here or contact the IAFF Department of Occupational Health, Safety and Medicine at (202) 824-1594.


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Page Last Updated: Jan 31, 2014 (16:01:03)
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