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July Drill Of The Month: REHAB

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6LpW-WnoY0]

The above scene is no stranger to anyone. No matter what department, where your located, the amount of fires you take in, or you physical fitness condition we all get tired during firefighting operations and need a break. The fatigue level seems to amplify during extreme weather conditions (hot or cold).

Just this morning (a few hours ago) at 3am my engine company responded to a house fire it was around 80 degrees. While a lot better than the 101 degrees it was during the day, the addition of turnout gear, SCBA, and all the associated fireground tasks take a toll even on the most in shape person. Thankfully or rehab was more than adequate, we had medical monitoring, Gatorade, water, air condition and multiple ambulances.

So this begs the question, what will your REHAB be on your next incident? Who will be assigned REHAB? What are the functions of REHAB in your department? Are you medically monitoring? Are you following NFPA 1584? Do you even know that NFPA 1584 is the Standard for emergency incident REHAB?

These are important questions that need to be answered BEFORE the alarm, not during. Good REHAB is one of the many pieces in the reduction of LODD’s. By performing proper work rest cycles we reduce the strain on the body, and with proper medical monitoring and patient assessment it is possible to catch life threatening conditions before they become that way.

So spend some time this month and break out your REHAB SOG/Plan and review it. Even better actually set up formal rehab. Get out the check lists, water coolers, Gatorade packets, recording equipment, etc and set it up.

REHAB is not a glory job, but done properly you could save one of your brothers lives, or at the least gain some respect for taking care of the brothers after a tough job.

A great resource for training is http://www.firerehab.com/ on this site you can look at a ton of great training articles, videos, and request the NFPA 1584 training program class covering the best practices for on scene rehab for NO COST (if an IAFC member) to your department. I took this class a few months ago and it was great.

So get out there and REHAB!!!

As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!

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