The third edition of the IFSTA Occupational Safety, Health, and Wellness manual is intended to provide an overview of programs, policies, procedures, and actions that will establish and maintain a culture of safety within the fire and emergency services. The IFSTA Validation Committee for this manual wanted to provide information for three groups: fire and emergency service administrators, supervisors, and emergency responders. By providing this information, it is hoped that a new culture based on safety, health, and wellness concerns can be instilled in the current and future generations of emergency responders. The basis for this manual is NFPA® 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program. Additional standards are listed in the Introduction and in Appendix A. This manual is also a companion to the IFSTA Fire Department Safety Officer manual.
As apparent from the expanded title, the 3rd edition includes more than safety-related information. Following a discussion of the risks faced by fire and emergency services personnel the manual provides a review of the dominant culture that contributes to the current level of injuries and fatalities sustained by the service. Methods for creating a new safety-based culture grounded on changes in personal behavior and organizational change is recommended. The manual then lays out the requirements for health and fitness programs, as well as training, apparatus, tool and equipment, protective clothing, emergency scene, and facility safety. Finally, an outline for developing and implementing a safety, health, and wellness program is provided.
The focus of the manual is on the actions and responsibilities of the individual members, supervisors, managers, and department administrators. This manual provides guidance for creating a safe work environment, establishing an organizational and personal culture which embraces emergency responder’s safety, and providing fire and emergency responders with recommendations for a safe and healthy lifestyle.