NIOSH solicits comment on first responder program

February 2, 2011

Washington – NIOSH is seeking comment until April 1 on a draft document on emergency responder health monitoring and medical surveillance.

The guidance (.pdf file) offers a framework for ensuring the safety and health of responders through medical surveillance before, after and during deployment.

According to NIOSH, concerns about emergency responders emerged after the 9/11 attacks in New York, and recent disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill continue to expose gaps in safety and health programs for responders.

The agency said the goal of the Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance system is to ensure only properly trained responders report to an emergency and that a systematic evaluation is conducted to determine the need for long-term surveillance.