Keeping Your Employees Safe

SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccine Update

SARS-CoV-2 Vaccinations to protect against COVID-19 have begun in the United States.  This article supplies some FAQs with subsequent discussion intended to help each individual come to their own personal choice on COVID-19 Vaccination based on sound information.  This same info can provide an opening for an agency to plan their approach to determining how COVID-19 Vaccinations fit into their Agency and Operational Plan. There is also a list of Resources & Links with supporting materials divided into easy to...

CDC Guidance for Managing the Holidays during COVID-19

The CDC published Guidelines intended to help individuals & families make the best and safest choices for themselves while celebrating the upcoming holidays. Most of the guidance is applicable to other situations and timeframes too. First Responders have two families, a traditional one and a work one, with many share living quarters during their shift.  As essential/front line workers, First Responders are often at increased risk and have an ongoing chance of sharing that risk with those they come in...

COVID-19 Transmission FAQs Answered by Experts

With COVID levels at record highs it’s time to double down on protecting yourself, those you are responsible for and/or care about, from getting it. This paper answers vital questions with solid science. Scientists & engineers in this field have collected the evidence together to answer the questions many are asking – silently or out loud – and provide the proof for all to read. It is written for the general public & as a living document. One that's...

HHS/CDC SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination Plan for COVID-19

The HHS/CDC has reposted their Interim Vaccination Plan for the SARS-CoV-2 virus to prevent COVID-19.  This is a rapid rollout plan that is identified as interim because not all the specifics of a vaccine(s) is known.  There is a push to be ready to distribute the vaccine as soon as even emergency approval is given, with dates for beginning the vaccinations suggested for as soon as late October or early November.  The documents included in this post should assist...

Latest Strategies on COVID-19 Mitigation On & Off Duty

Most Public Safety & First Responders, especially EMS and Fire that work around COVID often, are keen to decrease its transmission to themselves or others.  And, recent studies and articles have suggested more ways to mitigate the risk of exposure, both on and off duty. View/Download the full update with links

Latest Data on COVID-19 Mitigation On & Off Duty Resources & Links

There are a lot of recently published scientific & observational studies, editorials, viewpoints, and more about both medical and lay person PPE. This includes predominantly masks & respirators, but also other mitigation strategies that have been moved beyond ‘might this help?’ to ‘likely some benefit’. In some cases, recommendations from international and national organizations & agencies, as well as industry organizations, have been made. Below, are some links to some of those documents. All of them provide good information,...

COVID-19 Guidance Resources for Law Enforcement Personnel

There is a lot of available information for Health Care Workers and EMS, but not very much for Law Enforcement who have several roles as part of their work that puts them at increased risk for being infected by COVID-19.  This document raises the awareness of that risk and offers a clearinghouse of resources specifically for Law Enforcement, First Responders/Public Safety.

New COVID-19 Resource Page on

A new COVID-19 resource page on provides easy to find links to the most relevant and up-to-date information from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NHTSA Office of EMS and other Federal agencies involved in the response to the pandemic. This includes guidance for treating potential COVID-19 patients, information on PPE use and supplies and processes for handling healthcare providers who have been exposed to coronavirus.

Ryan White Act Expanded to Include COVID-19 Reporting

Executive Summary: For those Public Safety Agencies reporting an employee’s possible exposure, and expecting notification of a positive COVID-19 disease result from the hospital or public health officer, the expanded Ryan White Act of 2009 update has been published by NIOSH/CDC and will address this issue.  Furthermore, emergency response employees covered by the Act have been defined.  Full Report: The CDC/NIOSH has updated the Infectious Diseases and Circumstances Relevant to Notification of Emergency Response Employees: Implementation of Sec.2695 of the Ryan...

National Institutes of Health (NIH) launches COVID-19 website for the workplace, including emergency responders

With new funding from Congress, the NIH has launched a website with training and educational resources for workers confronting COVID-19 in the workplace, including emergency first responders, hospital workers, and others at risk due to possible exposure to the virus via their work assignments. This training will be part of the already established Worker Training Program. Use this link for specifics about the COVID-19 training program and links to other training programs and resources. National Institutes of Health

Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV – What Public Safety/First Responders Can Do

What First Responders Can Do Feb-3-2020: The information in the attached PDF is designed to assist EMS and other First Responders, but may contain information not complete or applicable to a particular agency or situation.  All stakeholders should review pertinent national public health and WHO documents to ensure complete knowledge. Download the pdf

EMS/First Responder Application of the CDC Measles Recommendations

The CDC has recently published a new document called Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations Guidance for Measles in Healthcare Settings (7/19).  It is a comprehensive document aimed at a person who provides health care to individuals who may have measles.  It basically provides the framework to plan and develop policies and procedures for, as well as apply definitions and evidence-based care, to both a suspected or known case of measles. It further provides for the protection of First...

Protecting from Heat Illness/Injury

Very hot temperatures seem to be a frequent topic in the news and as people discuss the weather.    Everyone who feels these temperatures can readily identify them and, when they are in the extremes, needs to take precautions when out in the weather.  Stay hydrated, wear light colored, natural or wicking fabrics, use hats, sunscreen and umbrellas; seek out shade.  Avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day; consider water or inside activities until the temperature has...

Suicide Prevention for First Responders

For those who have seen the tragedy of first responder suicide up close, or heard about it, they know that suicide needs to be prevented at all costs. And, to prevent it, an agency and its individuals – all of them – need to be aware of the increased risks in this population, the causes, the early signs of an issue, and how to quickly intercede and get help for that individual(s).

First Responder Health & Safety Links

CDC / NIOSH Emergency Responders Resources including: • Safety Management • Bloodborne Infectious Disease • Personal Protective Equipment • Traumatic Incident Stress Safety Management: Bloodborne Infectious Disease: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Incident Stress: Download the list of links

Detection & Management of Opioid Exposure for Public Safety Working Dogs

Although this subject is outside the usual scope of FirstWatch’s focus, it’s recognized that working service dogs that assist local, state and federal law enforcement and other agency partners (FBI, DEA, TSA, MPs, etc.), do so at great risk and deserve to be protected from harm. We are including links to this program which include assessment, treatment, and transport for further care of public safety working dogs who have been exposed to opiates and may need advanced care and possible...