Section 4 establishing and operating a rehab area
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Section 4 - Establishing and Operating a Rehab Area. Explain when it is appropriate to establish rehab operations based on the type of incident or weather conditions. Describe where rehab operations fit into the Incident Command System. Select an appropriate site to establish rehab operations.

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Section 4 - Establishing and Operating a Rehab Area

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Section 4 establishing and operating a rehab area

Section 4 - Establishing and Operating a Rehab Area

  • Explain when it is appropriate to establish rehab operations based on the type of incident or weather conditions.

  • Describe where rehab operations fit into the Incident Command System.

  • Select an appropriate site to establish rehab operations.

  • List the necessary components for a rehab operation.

  • Describe the types of facilities or apparatus that may be used for rehab operations.

  • List all of the types of equipment that may be used in rehab operations.


Objective 4 1

Objective 4-1

Explain when it is appropriate to establish rehab operations based on the type of incident or weather conditions.


When to establish rehab

When to Establish Rehab

  • NFPA 1584: Whenever emergency operations pose the risk of pushing personnel beyond a safe level of physical or mental endurance.

  • Each jurisdiction should establish its own criteria.

  • Adjust criteria based on given conditions.

  • Don’t play catch-up; be proactive.


Establishing rehab at structure fires

Establishing Rehab at Structure Fires

  • Some departments do it by number of alarms.

  • NFPA 1584 Guideline #1: Self-rehab with hydration for at least 10 minutes following the depletion of one 30-minute SCBA cylinder or after 20 minutes of intense work without wearing an SCBA.

  • NFPA 1584 Guideline #2: Must enter a formal rehab area, drink appropriate fluids, be medically evaluated, and rest for a minimum of 20 minutes following any of the following:

    • Depletion of two 30-minute SCBA cylinders

    • Depletion of one 45- or 60-minute SCBA cylinder

    • Following 40 minutes of intense work without an SCBA


Establishing rehab at high rise fires

Establishing Rehab at High-Rise Fires

  • Require more personnel to handle than do smaller buildings.

  • Require more energy just to reach the fire area.

  • Must establish rehab at all working high rise fires.

  • Minor rehab may be performed on the Staging floor.

  • Full rehab operations should be somewhere below that level.


Establishing rehab at wildland fires

Establishing Rehab at Wildland Fires

  • Must rely on self-rehab for remote operations.

  • The IC should establish a rehab area when the fire will involve heavy manual labor for more than 40 minutes.

  • Consider the weather conditions at time fire.

  • Fires that occur at high altitudes are more demanding.

  • The heavier the manual labor that will be performed, the greater the need for rehab operations.


Establishing rehab at haz mat incidents

Establishing Rehab at Haz Mat Incidents

  • Rehab must be established anytime CPC is being worn at an incident.

  • Rehab must be set up un the Cold (Green) zone


Establishing rehab in warm weather

Establishing Rehab in Warm Weather

  • Will vary depending on the normal conditions of that jurisdiction.

  • Factors include the ambient temperature, the humidity, PPE being worn, and whether firefighters are operating in direct sunlight.

  • The temperature and humidity combine to form the heat index. Add 10ºF for wearing PPE and 10ºF if operating in sunlight. Consider rehab if the combination of all of these is above 90ºF.

  • May require formal rehab after one SCBA cylinder is used, instead of two.


Establishing rehab in cold weather

Establishing Rehab in Cold Weather

  • Initiate rehab based on local criteria and weather conditions

  • Firefighters burn more calories in cold weather.

  • Rotate personal more frequently.


Rehab in training exercises

Rehab in Training Exercises

  • Training exercises often involve strenuous work for extended periods of time.

  • Recruit can work at these levels for multiple days on end.

  • Rehab must be available to the participants.

  • Practice like you play.


Objective 4 2

Objective 4-2

Describe where rehab operations fit into the Incident Command System.


Rehab s ics position at incidents

Rehab’s ICS Position at Incidents

  • In a fully expanded ICS structure, Rehab is part of the Medical Unit, within the Service Branch of the Logistics Section. There may be other components in the Medical Unit on large incidents.

  • On daily incidents Rehab will most likely report directly to the Incident Commander or to the Operations Section Chief


Rehab s ics position at large incidents

Rehab’s ICS Position at Large Incidents

COMMAND

LOGISTICS

SUPPORT

BRANCH

SERVICE

BRANCH

SUPPLY UNIT

COMMUNICATIONS

UNIT

GROUND SUPPORT

UNIT

MEDICAL UNIT

(REHAB)

FACILITIES UNIT

FOOD UNIT


Rehab s ics position at small incidents

Rehab’s ICS Position at Small Incidents

COMMAND

(Chief 65)

FIRE ATTACK

GROUP

(E65)

VENT GROUP

(L65)

SEARCH GROUP

(R38)

REHAB GROUP

(M369)

E38

E71

A328

E42

L38


Objective 4 3

Objective 4-3

Select an appropriate site to establish rehab operations.


Who selects the rehab site

Who Selects the Rehab Site?

  • Depending on local preference of the size of this incident it may be the:

    • Rehab Group Supervisor

    • Medical Unit Leader

    • Logistics Section Chief

    • Incident Commander


Rehab located close to command

Rehab Located Close to Command

  • Allows the IC to monitor personnel

  • Allow command vehicles to be clustered

  • Does not allow rehabbing firefighters to relax as much

  • ICs may have a tendency to send folks back in too quickly


Rehab located remote from command

Rehab Located Remote From Command

  • Allows for more relaxation and decompression

  • Allows more room for larger rehab operations

  • Travel distance should not be too far


Three questions to answer

Three Questions to Answer

  • The estimated number of people to be rehabbed?

  • The climatic conditions at the time of the incident?

  • The expected duration of the incident?


Rehab site selection rules of thumb

Rehab Site Selection Rules of Thumb

  • Locate in the incident’s “cold” zone.

  • Be reasonable in the distance from the work area to the rehab area.

  • Choose a site that protects responders from the weather conditions.

  • Make sure the site is large enough accommodate the necessary number of people.

  • The site should be free of vehicle exhaust. 


Rehab site selection rules of thumb1

Rehab Site Selection Rules of Thumb

  • Look for as quiet a location as possible.

  • Restrict media access to the rehab area.

  • SCBA refilling apparatus should be co-located at the rehab area.

  • The rehab area must be easily accessible to ambulances.

  • Rehab operations require substantial amounts of drinking water.


Rehab site selection rules of thumb2

Rehab Site Selection Rules of Thumb

  • It is helpful if rest room facilities are a part of the rehab area or are in close proximity to it. 

  • Make sure the rehab area is remote from gruesome sights.


Objective 4 4

Objective 4-4

List the necessary components for a rehab operation.


Rehab area functions

Rehab Area Functions

  • Physical assessment

  • Revitalization

  • Medical evaluation and treatment

  • Continual monitoring of physical condition

  • Transportation for those requiring treatment at a hospital

  • Initial critical incident stress assessment and support

  • Reassignment


Objective 4 5

Objective 4-5

Describe the types of facilities or apparatus that may be used for rehab operations.


Three places for rehab areas

Three Places for Rehab Areas

  • Fixed facilities

  • Apparatus-based

  • Portable shelter/open area


Rehab in fixed facilities

Rehab in Fixed Facilities

  • Should be close to the incident scene, easily accessible, and on ground level.

  • Must be large enough to comfortably contain the people and resources.

  • Running water, restroom facilities, and kitchens (on long incidents are highly desirable.

  • Climate-controlled facilities are helpful.

  • Avoid negatively impacting the operations or finances of the buildings occupants.

  • Avoid structures in which the equipment worn by firefighters may cause damage to the facility.

  • Make sure that access to the rehab area can be controlled.


Apparatus based rehab operations

Apparatus-Based Rehab Operations

  • Standard apparatus may be used on small incidents.

  • Apparatus with SCBA refill capabilities should be located at rehab.

  • EMS transport capabilities must be present

  • Canteen and special rehab apparatus will be located here

  • May call for buses to be used as shelter in extreme conditions


Open area rehab operations

Open Area Rehab Operations

  • May use portable shelters

  • Look for protection from elements (sun, rain, etc.)

  • Make sure it is easily accessible for apparatus, EMS vehicles, and equipment deployment


Objective 4 6

Objective 4-6

List all of the types of equipment that may be used in rehab operations.


Rehab equipment

Rehab Area Marking Equipment – Cones, tape, signs, etc.

Tarps and blankets

Portable shelters

Portable heaters

Misters/coolers

Fans and blowers – Don’t use gas-powered

Electric generators and accessories

Lighting equipment

Rehab recording equipment

Extra PPE

Portable toilets

Hand washing equipment

Chairs and tables

Drink dispensing equipment

Trash collection equipment

Rehab Equipment


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