Dear Chief/Mayor/City Manager,
We are all concerned about the wide-spread outbreak of the 2009 H1N1 (swine) flu. I think we
both agree that protecting this jurisdiction’s fire fighters as much as possible as they continue to
serve on the frontlines during this outbreak is critical.
To that end, I wanted to make sure we’re on the same page when it comes to ensuring full
compliance with key NFPA standards regarding the occupational health and safety of our
members and request that all necessary steps be taken to ensure that this department is brought to
and remains in compliance with all aspects of the relevant standards, as outlined here.
NFPA 1581, Standard on Fire Department Infection Control Program, offers a
comprehensive blueprint for ensuring that we are organized effectively for a threat of this
kind. As you know, it mandates that:
o We have a written infection control policy statement defining the department’s
mission in limiting the exposure of members to infectious diseases during the
performance of assigned duties and while in the fire station living environment.
o We have an experienced individual on-duty who is designated as the infection
o We train and educate all members engaged in response activities on our infection
control program, including proper selection and use of personal protective
equipment, standard operating procedures for safe work practices in infection
control, proper methods of disposal of contaminated articles and medical waste,
cleaning and decontamination, exposure management, exposure reporting and
These three areas alone will help us approach this new hazard in a comprehensive and
programmatic way that will immediately translate into a safer work environment for all
department members and, as a result, reduce or limit our exposures.
We should also be carefully reviewing NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational
Safety and Health to be sure that our implementation of that standard is adequately protecting us
against this new hazard.
I look forward to meeting with you as soon as possible to discuss these points. Thank you for
your work so far as we confront this new challenge.