By being on the front line, Ontario's fire service professionals are at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19. It is important that we all engage in self screening to protect ourselves, our families and our communities. We have included helpful self screening information from a number of sources that you and your fire departments can employ.
NEW - Please see the Priority COVID-19 Testing for first responders note below that was added April 10.
Self screening is an effective way to ensure a proactive approach to your health and the health of others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Habitually monitoring conditions will increase early identification of symptoms and early isolation or treatment if necessary. It will flatten the curve by reducing the risk to your friends, family, coworkers and community.
Ideally, your local union and management will discuss these items and the importance of ensuring the continued safety of all employees. A cooperative pro-active approach to keeping potentially sick people away will assist in maintaining a healthy percentage of your workforce.
We have included links to various IAFF self screening tools to assist:
- Self Screening Guidelines for your fire station, fire inspection office or fire dispatch centre. The document attached is from the IAFF and includes a check list of self screening items you should perform twice daily BOTH ON AND OFF THE JOB. SELF SCREENING GUIDELINES
- Click this link for a short video on how the Self Screening Guidelines should be set up in your workplace. SELF SCREENING SETUP
- If you have been off work in self isolation or for a possible exposure you can use this sheet as a guideline for return to work. RETURN TO WORK PROCEDURES
NEW - Priority COVID-19 Testing for OPFFA members
Government has announced that health care workers and first responders will receive priority testing for COVID-19
Earlier, we realize that the availability of testing kits/equipment was scarce and this situation is improving
Currently there is no formal process for priority testing however some departments have made arrangements with local health units. Inquiring within your jurisdiction is recommended as a first step. We will post directions as they become available.
For a listing of regional health units CLICK HERE
April 9, the government made the following formal announcement of priority testing. CLICK HERE FOR THE GUIDANCE UPDATE. Generally here are the highlights
- Priority testing is for SYMPTOMATIC first responsers
- It is not recommended for asymptomatic responders
- Symptoms may be typical (common) or atypical
- The memo lists the typical symptoms and atypical symptoms of COVID-19
- When additional testing sites come on board, and if a location list is available we will post it
- Although under this memo, people being tested have symptoms and should already be self isolating and self monitoring, members should consult their union or management as each employer may have different guidelines regarding work attendance or isolation during testing periods.