INFECTION CONTROL OFFICE



In 2001, the Fire Department instituted an Infection Control Office and created a new civil service position naming a Fire Service Paramedic Exposure Control Officer. 

Fire Service Paramedic Exposure Control Officer

The Fire Service Paramedic Exposure Control Officer serves as the Department's Designated Officer for Infection Control as required by the Ryan White Law.  The Ryan White Law is a Federal which protects Emergency Response Employee (ERE's) if they have been exposed to an infectious or communicable disease. 

Designated Officer

The role of the Designated Officer requires 24 hour availability and involves professional responsibility in the areas of notification, reporting, documentation, evaluation, interpretation, inspection, education, consultation, and research as well as data collection.

  • The Designated Officer acts as liaison between medical facilities, the medical examiner's office, Public Health Officials and Emergency Response Employees.
  • The Designated Officer is responsible for insuring compliance with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations pertinent to infectious or communicable disease exposures, for developing and instituting a comprehensive program for exposure notification and post exposure evaluation and medical follow-up.
  • The Designated Officer must also develop a comprehensive site specific Exposure Control Plan that identifies tasks or behaviors that would place an Emergency Response Employee at risk for ran occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) and then introduce new tasks or modify old engineering and work practice controls that would minimize or eliminate the likelihood of an occupational exposure.

Fire Department Exposure Control Officer

The Fire Department Exposure Control Officer (Designated Officer for Infection Control) holds the rank of Captain and functions under the direction of the Human Resources Division.

There are at least fifteen (15) federal, state, and local laws that need to be incorporated into the Exposure Control Plan.  Additionally, there are in excess of 20 different standards and guidelines from non-regulatory agencies such as the United States Department of Public Health (CDC), National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) that need to be incorporated into the Exposure Control Plan.