We are asking all affiliates to complete our COVID-19 tracking survey for reporting the number of IAFF members/fire-EMS personnel in your local/fire department who have tested positive for coronavirus or have been quarantined or in isolation.
April 1 — The Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has relaxed some requirements allowing fire departments to:
- Transport patients to alternative destinations, such as urgent care, community mental health facilities, physician’s offices and patient’s homes
- Allow fire departments to submit for reimbursement to CMS for the transport the same way as if transported to the hospital
- Provide telehealth services through a contracted physician to assist with treat and release with no transport
- Fire departments cannot bill for telehealth services directly but can arrange with the providing doctor. This is also a good way to lessen the burden on 9-1-1 call volume
March 31 – The IAFF has developed checklists for decontaminating apparatus after a potential exposure and cleaning stations during this pandemic.
March 30 – Watch this video message from General President Harold Schaitberger on how the IAFF is working to secure the tools and resources you need to fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
March 28 – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)/Health and Human Services Healthcare Resilience Task Force has established that fire/EMS agencies are at the same level of priority for PPE as hospitals, healthcare facilities and workers. See guidance for submitting resupply requests.
March 27 – Congress completed its work on an economic stimulus package intended to address the response to and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill includes significant resources for fire and EMS as follows:
- $45 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund to reimburse fire and EMS departments for expenses related to the response to the virus.
- $100 million in funding through the Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE Act) grant program, earmarked specifically for PPE and related supplies.
- $100 billion to reimburse healthcare providers, including EMS, for healthcare expenses or lost revenue, including costs related to medical supplies and equipment, such as PPE, increased workforce expenses and surge capacity.
- $41 million for the National Forest System and Wildland Fire Management for PPE and baseline health testing.
The CDC/NIOSH has updated the Ryan White Act to include COVID-19. Hospitals are now mandated to notify emergency response employees of any exposure to a positive COVID-19 patient.
March 25 – 10 Things Your Local Should Be Doing for COVID-19 Response helps identify the most important issues facing members and provide the information and resources needed to ensure best practices are in place.
March 24 – The IAFF has developed a new, more dynamic data tool to help you document exposures among members in your local/fire department and in departments across both countries. Once reported, this data will be available in real time so that we have a clearer picture of the impact of COVID-19 on our members and affiliates across the United States and Canada.