IAFF Situation Update - March 27
Congress completed its work on an economic stimulus package intended to address the response to and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill includes significant resources for fire and EMS as follows:
- $45 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund to reimburse fire and EMS departments for expenses related to the response to the virus.
- $100 million in funding through the Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE Act) grant program, earmarked specifically for PPE and related supplies.
- $100 billion to reimburse healthcare providers, including EMS, for healthcare expenses or lost revenue, including costs related to medical supplies and equipment, such as PPE, increased workforce expenses and surge capacity.
- $41 million for the National Forest System and Wildland Fire Management for PPE and baseline health testing.
The CDC/NIOSH has updated the Ryan White Act to include COVID-19. Hospitals are now mandated to notify emergency response employees of any exposure to a positive COVID-19 patient.