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Occupational & Environmental Medicine Training Program

International Association of Fire Fighters

The IAFF, located in Washington DC, is an international union representing 274,000 full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics in the U.S. and Canada. The IAFF's Department ofHealth and Safety is dedicated to the prevention of injury and illness in employees in a very hazardous occupation. This involves research, advocacy, service to union locals and individual members, testimony, training, and participation in the standard-setting process. Our OEMR residents have been rotating at IAFF since 1983.

The goal of the rotation is to provide the resident with an understanding of the administrative operations and health concerns of a major trade union. Activities in which the resident may be involved include design, implementation and evaluation of fire department medical surveillance programs, causation as it relates to workers' compensation; physical fitness and rehabilitation programs; investigation of line of duty deaths related to occupational disease or exposure to toxic substances; assistance in developing testimony to U.S. Congress and state legislators on issues relating to fire fighters' safety and health and providing technical assistance to voluntary standard making organizations such as the National Fire Protection Association.  Residents travel to IAFF conferences and conventions to give formal presentations to union members.  The preceptors for this rotation are Patrick Morrison, Assistant to the General President for Occupational Health, Safety and Medicine; Jim Brinkley, MPH, Director of Occupational Health and Safety; Ron McGraw, Occupational Health and Safety Assistant; and Dr. Francesca Litow.