H1N1 Flu Guidance Offered to First Responders
The U. S. Fire Administration on Wednesday asked the EMS/first responder community to consult a guidance document for procedures to use during the flu outbreak. USFA said it is working with the Department of Homeland Security and other federal partners on the guidance, calling it a "dynamic process" and promising more information as soon as appropriate agency approvals are obtained.
The International Association of Emergency Medical Services Chiefs also is making the guidance and other information available at its Web site.
"We are currently monitoring the H1N1 Flu information as it comes forward from the CDC and DHS medical experts. As a part of DHS/FEMA, the USFA is seeking to ensure our nation's firefighters and their families are provided the information they need to stay safe," Acting Assistant Administrator Glenn A. Gaines said. "We know as firefighters and emergency medical technicians [are] called to emergency medical responses and other emergencies across the nation, there is always the concern for secondary exposure to fellow firefighters and families as firefighters return to their homes. As conditions change, we will work closely with you to ensure firefighters and EMTs have the most current information."
The U.S. Department of Transportation's "EMS Pandemic Influenza Guidelines for Statewide Adoption and Preparing for Pandemic Influenza: Recommendations for Protocol Development and 9-1-1 Personnel and Public Safety Answering Points" is available at www.ems.gov (click on the Pandemic News link). State and local EMS agencies should review the documents for useful information, USFA said.
Current flu information is available from CDC at www.cdc.gov/SwineFlu/.