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COVID-19 Resources for Fire Departments

 

 

COVID-19 Information for Fire Departments
Updated May 7, 2021

The Vermont Fire Academy distributes informational updates as needed via e-mail.  These messages contain a collection of pertinent information from the State Emergency Operations Center.  Fire service personnel who wish to receive these messages can subscribe to the e-mail list by CLICKING HERE.

If you need assistance or information, call 1-800-615-3473 to reach the Vermont Fire Academy who will help route your call to the appropriate agency or person.

COVID Vaccination and Testing (Updated May 7, 2021)

At this time, all Vermonters 16 year and older and some out of state residents are eligible to receive the vaccine.  Refer to the Vermont Department of Health website for information on receiving the vaccine.

COVID testing is widely available in all areas.  Refer to the Vermont Department of Health website for information on testing.

Hand Sanitizer Available to Emergency Service Organizations

The State of Vermont has free hand sanitizer available to emergency service organizations. There is a limited supply, therefore, each organization is limited to one gallon and it is required that you reserve yours by clicking here.  After making your request online, you will receive confirmation of your order. You can also arrange to have another department pick up your supply. The sanitizer can be picked up on weekdays during regular business hours at the following locations:

Vermont Fire Academy, 93 Davison Drive, Pittsford

Vermont Urban Search and Rescue/Haz-Mat Warehouse, 189 Troy Avenue, Colchester

Monitoring Fire Department Capabilities

If your agency is impacted in its ability to deliver service because of infections, please contact the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC). It will help inform a variety of strategies, including vaccine distribution. To report impacts of an emergent nature, you can call the emergency operations center at 800-347-0488. 

Guidance on Fire and EMS Department Non-Emergency Activities (Updated May 7, 2021)

Based on Governor Scott’s Phased Reopening Plan Step Two, as of May 7, 2021 the following guidelines are meant to be used by Fire and EMS departments as best safe practices for activities related to non-emergency operations.  This guidance only applies to departments whose responders have the need to participate in trainings, meetings, and work details within the confines of the emergency services facility or other designated locations. This guidance does not apply to emergency response.

Requirements for Entry:

Prior to any in-person activity at your station the following are responsibilities of the department leadership and attendees:

  • Individuals shall not attend if they have received a positive test for COVID-19 within the previous 14 days.  Individuals should also not attend if they have been recommended to quarantine due to health, contact, or travel reasons or if they have not completed a recommended quarantine according to Department of Health guidelines.
  • Individuals shall not attend if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • A safety officer who is knowledgeable about the Most current health and safety requirements must be appointed for each event.
  • Prior to entering the facility individuals shall be screened per the department screening guidelines, to ensure they have no symptoms of COVID-19.
  • The most current health and safety requirements shall be posted and all individuals entering the facility shall be made aware of them
  • The facility must be routinely disinfected and have sufficient disinfection supplies on hand. Disinfecting guidance is available here.

The following rules apply for activities where all participants are fully vaccinated with the exception of one additional non vaccinated individual:

Training, Meetings and Work Details

The following rules apply for activities where two or more of the participants are not fully vaccinated:

Classroom-Based Training and Meetings

  • Where Classroom-based training that involves practical evolutions that can not be completed virtually and are considered essential to a department’s operational status, the following rules shall be in place:
    • All participants must wear a department approved procedural face masks while in the facility.
    • The facility used must provide sufficient space for adequate social distancing of participants.  Activities should always be spaced 6 feet apart and individuals should maintain adequate social distancing of at least 6 feet unless close contact is absolutely necessary.
      • When participation requires close contact (within six feet), personal protective equipment shall include eye protection and gloves in addition to the required face covering.
    • If multiple groups use the same facility, care must be taken to ensure that each group remains distinctly separate without commingling in shared spaces.
    • The space should be well ventilated, preferably allowing significant outside air replacement rather than recirculation. 

Outdoor Training and Work Details (to include large open well-ventilated areas including apparatus bays)

  • Where outdoor training takes place, the following rules shall be in place:
    • All participants must wear department approved procedural face masks while in proximity to others.
    • Activities should always be spaced 6 feet apart and participants should maintain adequate social distancing of at least 6 feet unless close contact is absolutely necessary.
      •  When participation requires close contact (within six feet), personal protective equipment shall include eye protection and gloves in addition to the required face covering.
    • When vehicle use is required and the availability of vehicles requires more than one occupant, procedural face masks shall be worn by all.  Passenger compartments should be well ventilated, preferably allowing significant outside air replacement rather than recirculation.

First Responder Mental Health Wellness Information (Posted May 21, 2020)

The following resources for responders have been provided by the Vermont Department of Mental Health.

First Responder Self-Care
Understanding Burnout
Signs of Burnout
Getting Support from Team Members

COVID-19 Emergency Services Resources:

Vermont Department of Health COVID-19 Information