IAFC 2021 Safety Stand Down to focus on fire rehab
The program scheduled for June 20-26 seeks to bring attention to post-incident physical and psychological health
By Laura French
CHANTILLY, Va. — The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) has announced that the 2021 Safety Stand Down theme will be “Rebuilding Rehab,” focusing on firefighters’ physical and psychological wellbeing following incidents.
The Safety Stand Down campaign, which encourages departments to suspend non-emergency activities for a week in order to focus on safety training, is scheduled for June 20-26 and is sponsored by the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
“Rehab frequently does not get the attention it deserves. Many think simply providing food and beverages to firefighters constitutes a rehab program,” the IAFC said in a statement. “The 2021 Safety Stand Down challenges departments to reframe their thinking around rehab to mitigate all of the impacts of firefighting and make sure everyone is ready to respond to the next emergency.”
Fire rehab should encompass all areas of post-incident health, including cardiac health, mental health, nutrition, hydration and management of exposure and heat stress, according to the IAFC.
Education and training resources will be available on the Safety Stand Down website for fire departments to use throughout the program week, and will be updated periodically in the lead-up to the event. The NFPA will host the annual Fire Service Safety Stand Down Quiz; everyone who completes the quiz will receive an entry into a sweepstake to win one of 200 commemorative Safety Stand Down challenge coins.