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Your Environment. Your Health.

International Association of Fire Fighters

Principal Investigator / Institution

Thomas Hill
Co-Principal Investigator
International Association of Fire Fighters
1750 New York Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20006

Joshua Smith
Co-Principal Investigator
International Association of Fire Fighters
1750 New York Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20006

Program Description

International Association of Fire Fighters logo

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) was founded in 1918 and represents more than 320,000 professional firefighters and emergency medical personnel across the United States and Canada. The IAFF has over 3,200 state and local affiliates who protect more than 85% of the nation’s population. By virtue of the nature of the IAFF as an association, the IAFF has direct access to these affiliates and, in turn, these affiliates rely on the IAFF for a variety of resources and training.

The IAFF HazMat Training Department continues its worker health and safety training program to conduct hazardous materials training to career and volunteer firefighters, emergency medical service personnel, fire brigades, and law enforcement. Mutual aid response personnel such as private emergency medical service personnel, public works and health care providers, and trade/skilled utility workers (chemical, steel, radiological, etc.) will also be invited to participate in training.

Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program (HWWTP) and HAZMAT Disaster Preparedness Training Program (HDPTP)

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) continues its worker health and safety training program to train workers and community partners in order to prevent work-related harm and improve worker-related health and safety. The built environment has become more complex due to increased population growth, aging infrastructure, and increased use of complex chemicals in commercial products and manufacturing processes. Whether responding to a residential fire or a chemical industrial plant, responders have the potential to encounter hazardous materials at almost every incident. Yet, in a recent survey, less than half of the respondents stated they felt "adequately prepared" for HazMat incidents and 70% stated that HazMat training was their greatest need. Responders also face other emerging issues including occupational cancer risks, behavioral health issues, and greater need for individual and community resilience. The IAFF is committed to addressing these issues through training and education of all of those who may respond to, or be impacted by, HazMat emergencies. Through this grant funding, the IAFF will deliver specialty courses including HazMat Technician, Confined Space Rescue, and Frontline Safety training. 

NIEHS/U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Worker Training Program

Under the DOE program, the IAFF identifies and targets workers and first responders with a likelihood of responding to assist in emergencies at DOE facilities within a 150-mile radius, resulting in appropriately trained responders who may be dispatched to a specific DOE facility via site mutual aid agreements. The training enhances the capabilities of workers on or around DOE sites, using curricula that are enhanced by new training methodologies that are site-specific and trade specific. The training programs incorporate information on potential hazards; describe appropriate actions, including the use of personal protective and other rescue equipment; and stress the importance of preplanning. Courses use a risk-based personal scene safety and health approach to incidents of terrorism involving chemical and biological agents; nuclear, radioactive, and explosive devices; and their impact on first responders.

Project Duration

  • August 1, 2020 - May 31, 2025 (HWWTP, HDPTP)
  • September 1, 2020 - July 31, 2025 (DOE)

Grant Numbers

  • U45 ES006167 (HWWTP, HDPTP)
  • UH4 ES009759 (DOE)

Other Participating Organizations

  • None
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