The Phoenix Fire Department Health Center and Local 493 work with several health and safety agencies in formulating and enforcing policy and procedure when it comes to possible risk from chemicals, infectious disease or heat. This medical services labor management sub-committee is responsible for managing emergency medical clothing, recommending the equipment, training and procedures for usage in the field.
When the potential for injury due to exposure occurs, an organized system is in place to properly handle the health risk posed. This means a thorough investigation, collection and testing of the product involved, in addition to documentation of the incident and treatment measures. The information is kept in the Exposure Control Database for thirty years after retirement or termination of service.
Building and maintaining this database is crucial. Since Arizona does not have a presumptive cancer law, this system helps provide documentation relating cancer or another sickness that might strike a firefighter to an exposure that occurred on duty. The archives can also be used to access information by the Health Center physicians for information to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of an illness that an employee may have developed from an exposure to a toxic substance.