May 14th Capital Area Association Meeting via ZOOM Web-Meeting
Members of the Capital Area Association are invited to remotely attend the May meeting via Zoom teleconferencing.
The meeting will take place on Thursday May 14th at 7pm from the comfort of your home office, wherever that might be. The Zoom Meeting Link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82071262228?pwd=RUNIM0wwa3A5THJGTUN0Uit6NERQQT09
The Meeting ID is : 820 7126 2228, Obtain A Password from one of the Officers/Directors to join the meeting by phone only: call 646-558-8656 use the same meeting ID and Password. Passwords are now being used for Zoom Meetings to avoid meeting bombing by hackers.
We know this is certainly a foreign concept but insures distancing and gathering by those of us who are suppose to be setting the example.
We certainly hope you will join us for our next meeting.
Finally – The Up to Date Legislative Scorecard
The most recent Legislative Scorecard for May 1st.
Open the 2020 May Scorecard with this link: 2020 Scorecard May 1
Updated 4/28 Web Based Training Available While You’re Home
Saturday, May 2nd @ 9 am – Coffee with Commissioners
Thursday, May 7th @6 pm – Secretary Training
Saturday, May 9th @ 9 am – Coffee with Commissioners
Thursday, May 14th @6 pm – Treasury Training
Saturday, May 16th @ 9 am – Coffee with Commissioners
Thursday, May 21st @6 pm – Secretary Training
4-29-20 7PM Handling Non-Transport EMS Calls
Join Dave Snyder and Lee Price as we discuss the challenges of refusals, “no patient found” and terminated CPR calls.
5-4-20 7PM Severe Storm Response and Water Emergencies
Join Lee Price and panel as we discuss the challenges of managing small and large weather related events.
5-6-20 7PM Social Media use by Emergency Services Personnel
Join Dave Denniston as he discusses challenges faced by fire and ems organizations and their personnel in today’s age of instant technology.
5-11-20 7PM Legal Issues Affecting First Responders
Join Dave Denniston and Attorney Steve Shahan as we discuss legal issues and suggestions on how to avoid them as an individual and organizations.
5-13-20 7PM Sexual Harassment Training
Join Dave Denniston and Charlie Brundza as we discuss workplace and sexual harassment issues facing fire and ems services.
Common Pitfalls in Patient Care Documentation
Presented by: Rick Gurba, Paramedic, VFIS Education Specialist
May 5, 2020: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
This session will review common mistakes and omissions which may cause your patient care reports to be called into question.
Training in an eLearning Environment
Presented by: Bryan Duquin, VFIS Education Specialist
May 12, 2020: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
In a time where organizations have limited abilities to train, it is important to keep the members of the ESO engaged and educated. This seminar is designed to give our clients some insights on how to develop an online learning platform that still keep the membership of the organization engaged and thinking through critical incidents. During this seminar we will discuss various programs available to achieve this task as well as some fundamentals of Educational Methodology that will better guide the concept of training in an eLearning platform.
Governor’s Executive Order Regarding Provision of Face Masks to Employees
Executive Order: Executive Order 202.16, issued on April 12, 2020, provides the following directive:
For all essential businesses or entities (which includes Fire Departments), any employees who are present in the workplace shall be provided and shall wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings for their employees. This provision may be enforced by local governments or local law enforcement as if it were an order pursuant to section 12 or 12-b of the Public Health Law. This requirement shall be effective Wednesday, April 15 at 8 p.m.
Guidance: Essential businesses, as well as state and local government agencies and authorities, must procure, fashion, or otherwise obtain face coverings and provide such coverings to employees who directly interact with the public during the course of their work at no-cost to the employee.
- Businesses are deemed essential by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD), pursuant to the authority provided in Executive Order 202.6. Please visit the ESD website for specific information on essential businesses. For the purpose of this guidance, essential businesses shall also provide face coverings to contractors, including independent contractors.
- Face coverings include, but are not limited to, cloth (e.g. homemade sewn, quick cut, bandana), surgical masks, N-95 respirators, and face shields. Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)” website for information on cloth face covers and other types of personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as instructions on use and cleaning.
- Direct interaction with the public shall be determined by the employer, but, at a minimum, shall include any employee who is routinely within close contact (i.e. six feet or less) with members of the public, including but not limited to customers or clients.
- Employees are allowed to use their own face coverings, but shall not be mandated to do so by their employer. Further, this guidance shall not prevent employees from wearing more protective coverings (e.g. surgical masks, N-95 respirators, or face shields) if the individual is already in possession of such PPE, or if the employer otherwise requires employees to wear more protective PPE due to the nature of their work (e.g. healthcare).
- Employees are required to wear face coverings when in direct contact with members of the public, except where doing so would inhibit or otherwise impair the employee’s health. Employers are prohibited from requesting or requiring medical or other documentation from an employee who declines to wear a face covering due to a medical or other health condition that prevents such usage.
- Employees who are unable to wear face coverings and are susceptible to COVID-19 based on the “Matilda’s Law” criteria (i.e. individuals who are 70 years of age or older, individuals with compromised immune systems, and individuals with underlying illnesses) should consult with their employer to consider reasonable accommodations, including but not limited to different PPE, alternate work location, or alternate work assignment with fewer interactions with the public. Employers should work with their employees to see if they can be accommodated to ensure the employee can continue to deliver essential services in the safest manner possible.
- If an employer is unable to procure, fashion, or otherwise obtain face coverings for their employees, they may consult with their local office of emergency management to determine if extra supplies exist within the municipality for this purpose and, if so, they may submit a request for face coverings. Please note that quantities are extremely limited and are prioritized for health care workers and first responders. Not being able to source face coverings does not relieve an employer’s obligation to provide such face coverings to their employees.
- Nothing in this guidance shall supercede the respiratory protection equipment requirements set forth by the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Interim Guidance for Fire Service Agencies from OFPC
Please see the attached document on Interim Guidance for Fire Service Agencies from OFPC:
COVID19 and HIPPA: Disclosures to First Responders and Public Health Authorities
See guidance from: covid-19-hipaa-and-first-responders-508
What is the Impact of COVID19 On LOSAP??
By Anthony Hill, Firefly Admin Inc.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, directives from government agencies of all levels – Federal and State for certain, but also County and other local governments – have resulted in the cancellation of many events, including activities of our volunteer fire departments. Departments are cancelling regularly scheduled meetings and drills. In-person training classes have also been cancelled, along with many fundraisers.
This pandemic will likely also impact how departments respond to calls. In Saratoga County, officials met on March 17th to talk about how emergency services will be managed in the County. It was mentioned that fewer police and EMS personnel will be responding to fire emergencies, and that firefighters will largely not be responding to medical calls. It doesn’t take much of a leap to foresee the next step being a limit to the number of firefighters who respond to an emergency, in order to prevent “large gatherings”. If in a typical emergency there are three times the number of individuals responding than can actually participate in the call, it makes sense to encourage fewer individuals to respond, or at least try and coordinate a sufficient-enough response to handle the emergency and thereby limit the potential spread of the virus.
But for now, what we concretely know is that events are being cancelled. Most everything else is unknown, including if any of these cancelled events will be made up. The uncertainty and fluidity of our current situation leads to speculation on how long fire departments may have to run on a diminished capacity. Putting responses to the side, it is more than likely that a significant number of activities will not be postponed but cancelled altogether.
Under the current version of the law (Article 11-A), a municipality has no authority to grant points for activities that haven’t happened or to decrease the 50-point threshold required to earn a benefit. If there are no activities, there is no opportunity to earn points. We won’t know how significant of an impact this will have on the volunteers’ chances of earning 50 points during 2020 until this crisis is over. It may turn out that everyone will just have to be extra vigilant to attend activities during the 2nd half of the year. In all likelihood, earning 50 points will be difficult for some volunteers.
At this time, our suggestion is to track the training, meetings, drills, and miscellaneous activities that have been cancelled. This data will allow the municipal sponsor to assess how significantly impaired volunteers were from having opportunity to earn 50 points.
However, the calls present a different challenge. It would seem there are two scenarios – fire departments putting restrictions on the number of volunteers who respond, and/or volunteers becoming unable to respond because they either have the virus or are concerned about contracting it. Either way, this is an unusual time-period that may require a municipality to make some adjustments. One approach could be that a municipality identify the time period in which the COVID-19 pandemic impacted volunteers responding to calls. The required number of calls needed to earn points for department responses could then be determined two ways: (1) by including all calls for the year and all firefighter responses (i.e., the usual way), OR (2)by excluding calls and responses during this period. If a firefighter responded to the minimum percentage under either approach, then the volunteer would be credited with the points.
Depending on the severity of the situation, it is possible that special legislation will be required from the State to help guide municipalities. But given how low a priority the LOSAP point system is likely to be, it will probably be left to the municipality to determine about how to handle it locally.
We encourage you to reply with your comments and questions – the more input we are given regarding what you are experiencing at your local department, the better we can help develop reasonable solutions.
Thank you for all you are doing to serve now and in the future. It is an honor to work with so many people committed to their local community.
Category B Public Assistance Disaster Declaration for NYS
What are Category B items that can be covered by FEMA.
Best Practices for Fire & Rescue Response adopted by Suffolk County, NY
Cleaning and Disinfecting 3M Scott Facepieces
See the information provided by Scott: CleaningandDisinfectingScott
Advice if you Believe You have Symptoms of COVID19
If you believe you have been exposed or that you have symptoms of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), CALL YOUR DOCTOR. Please do not walk in to your doctor’s office or to the Emergency Room and risk exposing the staff and other patients. If you arrive to Saratoga Hospital, you will be directed to a safe entry at a nearby testing location.
For all other questions, call:
NYS Novel Coronavirus Hotline: 1-888-364-3065
OR: contact your County Public Health Service
Capital Area Meeting Dates for 2020
Capital Area meetings are all about information exchange and learning from each other. The Capital Area encompasses Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Montgomery and Fulton Counties. All meets are scheduled to be held at one central location the West Crescent Fire Station and food will be served at the meetings. Thursday March 12th 7:00pm Thursday May 14th 7:00pm Thursday September 10th 7:00pm Thursday October 8th 7:00pm Nominations Thursday November 12th 7:00pm Elections Saturday January 9th 9:00am All fire district officers are invited including Commissioners, Treasurers, Secretaries and Chief Officers. We hope to see you there to join the discussion.