Prioritizing Health & Safety During & After COVID-19

April 26 2021

Prioritizing Health & Safety During & After COVID-19

Fire and life safety is not something that can stop for a pandemic, and it’s imperative that technicians continue to be out in the field and on-site for projects. In order for this to happen, technicians must be properly supported and protected so they can continue their responsibilities in confidence.

At Impact Fire, we work diligently to ensure the safety of our technicians and customers. Through initiatives such as the COVID Safe Work Plan and Positive Test Protocol, PPE distribution, and implementing strict disinfecting protocols, we are able to confidently maintain our services while prioritizing the health and safety of our collective community now and after the pandemic has passed.

Keeping Employees Safe With Robust Safety Protocols

The health and safety of employees and customers is one of our defining core values, with 100% commitment at all levels of the organization. We conduct occasional surveys to stay in touch with our technicians and recently conducted an anonymous safety culture survey through The Center for Construction Research and Training. These surveys are used to optimize our safety protocols as we continuously listen and react to technician feedback.

While some fire and life safety service providers claim health and safety is a business priority, Impact Fire proves it by employing a team of dedicated health and safety personnel to lead the effort, including a Fleet Manager who oversees driving safety. Additionally, each district has a dedicated safety champion. 

Here are the proactive safety initiatives that were swiftly implemented to diligently protect technicians and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic and the strategic long-term plan that will ensure their health and safety moving forward.

Proactive Pandemic Response

A Pandemic Response Team was quickly activated in order to appropriately address the rapid changes caused by the pandemic. This group has met weekly, and up to three times a week, to review developments, address concerns, and adjust policies as needed. The robust Pandemic Response Team is made up of respected and experienced fire and life safety personnel including Impact Fire’s COO, SVP of District Operations, VP of District Development, VP of Human Resources, Senior Director of Risk and Safety, Regional Safety Manager, and Regional Managers.

With an established response team actively brainstorming intelligent response tactics, Impact Fire quickly and efficiently created a comprehensive pandemic defense strategy based on CDC guidance and customer requirements.

At the onset of the pandemic, Impact Fire developed a COVID Safe Work Plan and a Positive Test Protocol for all employees to preemptively establish a comprehensive health and safety culture within the company. In addition to these safety initiatives, Impact Fire also implemented a text-based interactive training program for all company employees through StopCOVID - ESL Works, with a reward for those completing all the drills. The training program consists of eight drills spanning topics such as COVID-19 basics, prevention techniques, disinfection, and face coverings.

Due to the challenges of in-person training, we have leaned on technology to innovate and leverage remote training opportunities such as text training, online learning, and Microsoft Teams meetings. To further the remote learning opportunities for our employees, we have also partnered with our insurance carrier and state training resources to utilize relevant education modules such as pandemic management and illness prevention.

Throughout this time, through the adoption of early protocols, we have insisted on the highest standards for our employees to prevent spread while providing essential life safety services at all levels, including to front-line healthcare facilities. We secured a large inventory of PPE and disinfecting products to ensure the safety of on-premise technicians and have made appropriate changes to our safety procedures to reflect the ongoing CDC guidance changes.

Ensuring Technician Health and Safety In the Future

As part of the COVID-19 response, we designated one district office in each region to act as a hub for the distribution of PPE, disinfecting products, and other supplies for the pandemic. We strategically partnered with several sources for supplies in order to ensure quick employee access to protective supplies. We will continue this strategy and maintain supplies in the event of further outbreaks.

Our current and future safety programs will continue to place a strong emphasis on overall worker health. Due to the changes in how we connect, we are also looking to strengthen our established health and safety company culture moving forward by implementing innovative and creative ways to communicate and teach safety protocols remotely.

Health and Safety: A Given for Members of the Impact Fire Family

The pandemic has been a necessary reminder that falls, cuts, and strains are not the only hazardous risks technicians face in the field. The COVID-19 pandemic may have thrown us some challenges, but we’re proud of how the entire Impact Fire team responded to protect our employees and customers.

Individuals interested in joining the Impact Fire team should get in touch with us to learn more about how they can begin their unique fire and life safety journey.

Authors

Kristen Cooper, CSP

Kristen Cooper, CSP

Kristen joined the organization in 2020 and brings with her 23 years of experience in safety, claims, and insurance. She oversees safety, OSHA compliance, claims, our insurance program, and fleet operations for all locations. Kristen also works in partnership with our customers and subcontractors to ensure safety is a joint effort, both internally and externally. In her spare time, she enjoys time with family, sailing, riding/driving her horse, snowmobiling, and travel.

Jason Ferron, CSHO

Jason Ferron, CSHO

Jason brings 27 years of experience in fire protection to the safety team, with 10 of those being dedicated to field safety support. He is the key technical instructor for our field teams and is a certified OSHA outreach and lift equipment instructor. This guy rocks at training Impact Fire’s technicians! In his spare time, Jason enjoys fishing, off-roading, and travel.

Ashley Lucia

Ashley Lucia

Ashley is in her third year as Impact Fire’s Fleet Manager, and manages all operational and safety aspects of our national fleet of 400 vehicles. She recently implemented a new telematics solution across our entire fleet, which has resulted in a 50% reduction in at-fault accidents. Ashley is a critical component of ensuring Impact Fire’s drivers remain safe on the road. In her downtime, she enjoys spending time with her family and horses, watching baseball, and fishing.