It is the intent of this document to meet the requirements as set forth by N.J.A.C. 5:75-2.9 The NJ Department of Community Affairs, Fire Service Incident Management System Regulation, Medical Unit / Responder Rehabilitation.). This will be accomplished by utilizing the:
- The Burlington County Incident Rehabilitation Guidelines. This guideline follows the State Guideline, but is specific to Burlington County.”
- State of New Jersey, Statewide Incident Rehabilitation Guidelines. (State Guideline)
All fire service operational personnel and other first responders working at the scene of emergency incidents and training events that are subjected to harmful and potentially life threatening stressors while working at the scene of an emergency incident or training evolution.
“The Burlington County Incident Rehabilitation guideline will be utilized based on the specific rehabilitation related resources available in Burlington County.”
It is strongly recommended that all Burlington County Fire Departments enter into a Memorandum of Understanding, (MOU) with their primary EMS agency providing incident rehabilitation services as presented in the State guideline.
Incident commanders shall ensure that the physical or mental condition of first responders operating at the scene of an emergency does not deteriorate to a point where it affects the safety of each member, or jeopardizes the safety and integrity of the operation.
All Incident Commanders shall put in place a process to maintain situational awareness of the condition of each company/ unit operating within their span of control to ensure that appropriate steps are being taken to provide for each responders health and safety.
The goal of REHAB is to return firefighters to available status as quickly as possible while not disregarding the need to identify and hold firefighters for further treatment to avoid or reduce further aggravation of an existing condition or injury.
The Incident Commander shall utilize or request relief and/or reassignment (rehabilitation) for any potentially fatigued responders that can be reasonably anticipated.
Fire Officers operating at the incident must maintain situational awareness about not only their own condition but to those who they are responsible and those around them.
The EMS agency having jurisdiction at the scene of such incidents shall be instructed by the Incident Commander to set up a rehabilitation area to provide screening and direct rehabilitation services as necessary and will provide the REHAB Officer with the point of contact to whom they will report within the IMS structure established for the incident.
The REHAB Officer shall interact with the Incident Commander as to the size and complexity of the rehabilitation resources required.
Whenever firefighters are processed through “REHAB” and either require additional down time or are transported to a healthcare facility, the Incident Commander shall be promptly notified.
Copies of all documentation from the REHAB operation shall be forwarded to the Incident Commander at the conclusion of REHAB operations.
This Guideline is adopted by the Burlington County Fire Chiefs Association on May 11, 2011.