The Phoenix Fire Department Health Center offers a number of services and programs designed to help keep members healthy and safe.
When an individual is injured, ill or medically incapable of performing their assigned duties, they become eligible to participate in the Alternative Assignment Program. Giving all members of the Phoenix Fire Department (both sworn and civilian) an alternative to sick leave, the program has evolved from simply placing someone in a spot until released by their physician, to strategic placement and full service care at the Health Center. This facilitates regular monitoring of injured members’ progress in areas such as physical therapy, rehabilitation and overall physical well-being.
The Alternate Assignment Program has proven to be a vital tool in the overall concept of sound personnel management. It is a benefit that allows individuals who would otherwise be off work entirely, the opportunity to work while they are in a recuperative state.
When an injury or illness is not industrial, the member benefits from the program by not being forced to deplete their entire bank of sick leave, and in some cases, be on unpaid leave. A moral booster for those who’ve been able to use it, Alternate Assignment promotes an overall feeling of well being which in turn lends to a speedier recovery.
Industrial Injury/Case Management
The men and women handling case management within the Health Center act as a liaison between members, the state compensation fund, city safety and physicians. Many times they work behind the scenes to ensure the whole system works like a well-oiled machine by explaining policy and procedure for industrial or other injuries to members and keeping the necessary paperwork moving through the system.
All industrial injuries are managed through the Health Center. Case management stays in constant contact with inured members and makes sure the special needs of any member on industrial leave or alternate duty are met. They also conduct bi-monthly meetings to discuss the progress of members on industrial leave and alternate duty. Case management enables firefighters and other members to safely return to full duty and makes their transition between jobs smooth and successful.
The Fire Rehabilitation Program lessens the risk of injury, which may result from sustained physical or mental exertion during emergency operations under adverse conditions.
The Rehab Sector provides a specific area where personnel will assemble to receive physical evaluation, revitalization, monitoring, possible medical treatment and eventual reassignment. The Rehab Program consists primarily of air conditioned, portable units carrying shade, cooling fans, fluid replacement and food.
Members assigned to these units, along with paramedics from dedicated ALS units, operate under guidelines developed by the Health Center physician in determining a firefighter’s ability to return to fire fighting or rescue activities. By early intervention we can prevent a potential health risk to our members ensuring their continued service to the community in times of extreme physical stress.