DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Safety Stand-Down Week is a nationwide week in June where firefighters are taken care of both physically and mentally.
This years theme is rebuild and rehab. The main focus of the rehab is preparing a firefighter for the next event.
“We focus on cardiac health, hydration, nutrition, psychological health, heat management, cold management those types of things,” Dothan Fire Department EMS and Training Chief, Sean Gibson said. “It’s basically, think of it like a coffee shop set up at a fire scene.”
During safety week, the Dothan Fire Department only responds to emergency calls, and all other training and activities are put aside.
Everything the department focuses on during this week is full on safety.
“What we’ve done, is put out 6 hours of rehab training, and this is everything from videos to messing with apparatus those kinds of things,” Gibson said. “Going through our SOG on rehab, reacquainting our members with our rehabilitation program.”
According to Gibson, one of the big reasons rehab is important is because of heat.
Firefighters face extreme heat stress when going into a fire from all of their gear, and it’s the biggest danger they face.
“Rehab is one of the key components,” Gibson said. “When they come through rehab, there’s procedural steps of stripping out of that gear, walking into this cool zone. They set up climate control, active and passive hydration, and active and passing cooling.”
National Stand Down Safety Week starts on June 20 and goes through June 26.