Lancaster Fire Department

Exposure to Bed Bugs
G.O.G. 3.11

Exposure to Bed Bugs New/Revision Date: 1/17/2013 Effective Date: 4/18/2012 Page(s): 3 I. The proliferation of bed bugs in residential and commercial settings has necessitated the Lancaster Fire Department to formulate a policy concerning exposures. Bed bugs are extremely difficult to exterminate once an infestation has occurred: therefore, it is our department’s mandate for all firefighters to receive training on the prevention of bed bugs. This policy will address the steps necessary to maintain bed bug free fire stations and the steps necessary once an exposure has occurred.

II. In the Station: a. There shall be no cardboard, loose linens or fabrics allowed to lie on floors. All personal items shall be placed in personal plastic totes if no space is available in your locker. Items found lying on the floor shall be removed to truck bay to be claimed, in a timely manner, by owner. All living quarters shall be swept daily. In addition, each crew’s assigned clean-up area shall be thoroughly cleaned every Friday they are on duty. Thorough clean-up includes, but not limited to: floors striped and waxed, walls wiped down and furniture and floors vacuum cleaned. All mattresses shall have a department issued, impermeable mattress cover. All personal bed linen shall be washed no less than once per month and dried on high heat. Clothing, shoes, bunker pants, coats etc., that are suspected of being exposed to bed bugs, shall be properly treated before they are taken into the dorm or other living areas of the Fire House. If bed bugs are found in the engine house the following procedure shall apply. The engine house living quarters shall be immediately cleaned by the following steps: 1. 2. 3. 4. floors swept and mopped. all drapery shall be removed and washed Walls and baseboards shall be “wiped down” with a disinfectant cleaner. Personal linen shall be washed and placed in dryer on high heat for at least 20 minutes. 1

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Lancaster Fire Department

Exposure to Bed Bugs
G.O.G. 3.11

II. In the Station (Cont’d): 5. The crew captain shall be notified and the captain shall notify the Assistant Fire Chief immediately. 6. The Assistant Fire Chief shall determine if a professional pest control company should be contracted. III. While on an Emergency Run a. When responding to a known location with bed bugs, all personnel shall donn shoe covers. Pant legs shall be tucked into boots or rolled so as not to touch top of shoe cover. Shoe covers will then be deposed of in sealed plastic bags. If bed bugs are discovered on the emergency scene, all personnel are to tuck in pant legs into boots, immediately if possible. The report writer will indicate in the narrative of the EMS and/or fire report that there was an exposure to bed bugs during the emergency run.

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IV. If bed bugs are noted on any fire department personnel the following steps shall be taken: a. Personnel shall not go into any living quarters of the fire house. They shall not sit on any furniture. Personnel shall take themselves out of service. The medic or fire apparatus shall be deconed with disinfectant. All exposed medic cases and bags shall be cleaned. As soon as decon is completed, personnel shall remove outer clothing and place them in the dryer on high heat for 20 minutes. Shoes/boots shall be placed on the dryer rack and heated for 20 minutes. Use caution to ensure shoe does not melt. Personnel shall shower. Personnel shall have extra duty clothes and shoes in their locker in order to limit the amount of time out of service. 2

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Lancaster Fire Department

Exposure to Bed Bugs
G.O.G. 3.11

IV. If bed bugs are noted on any fire department personnel the following steps shall be taken (Cont’d): h. If exposure occurred to bunker gear, place affected gear into dryer on high heat for 20 minutes.

V. While transporting a patient with possible bed bug exposures: a. Discreetly notify FMC, upon arrival to the hospital, of the potential for bed bug exposure. If possible, this should be done before patient reaches FMC in case patient(s) need to be moved. Medics can call ER by phone at 687-8103. It shall be the responsibility of the EMS report writer to inform their engine house officer-in-charge of the address of possible bed bugs. It shall be the officer-in-charge’s duty to notify the Medic Operations Officer, vial e-mail, of the bed bug address. The M.O.O. shall maintain a list of known locations and to inform the organization of the infestation locations. If the exposure occurs during a fire response, the officer-in-charge of the fire apparatus shall follow the procedures set forth in the preceding paragraphs.

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