Please review the updated CDC Guidance.

CLICK HERE

 

Members who experience a high-risk exposure should notify their department in accordance with their exposure control plan and be placed in quarantine for 14 days and get a COVID-19 test if you show signs and symptoms. If asymptomatic for 14 days, you are eligible to return to work. If members test positive, they should be isolated and follow the guidance below for returning to work.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

This webinar features Dr. Emily Landon, Executive Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control with the University of Chicago as she discusses the current science and updates related to the coronavirus.

It also features a review of the AFFI’s resources and ongoing collective bargaining issues related to Covid-19.

Check out all of our training videos HERE

Over the past two years, the AFFI has been involved in a push to change the way Medicaid ambulance billing is re-imbursed in the State of Illinois. After a lot of effort from the IAFC, Department of Health and Family Services, and the AFFI, GEMT (ground emergency medical transport) funding has been implemented.

We want you to know, as a local leader, this new ambulance funding will provide a significant amount of extra revenue for our employers. We have seen billable amounts increase from hundreds of thousands to millions of additional dollars. The amount your entity could be receiving is based on your Medicaid patient payer mix. This could be a significant help to our struggling municipal budgets.

The deadline to apply for approval through Health and Family Services, is October 14th, 2020.

The AFFI has created a page on our website to provide your Fire Department or District with the tools to apply for this new funding on Medicaid transports. You may check to see if your employer has started the process to receive this funding and access other resources through this link: https://www.affi-iaff.org/gemt/

Please reach out to your DVP if you have additional questions or need guidance on how to move forward.

We are happy to report to you that SB 471 was signed into law today. As you will recall, in addition to the COVID-19 presumptive language that was signed a few months ago, we also introduced emergency legislation that would allow those members that are on Public Employee Disability Act (PEDA) to have a 60 day extension if their rehab or minor surgeries were interrupted due to the pandemic. Below is the exact language that the General Assembly passed and Governor Pritzker signed into law today. As always, please contact your AFFI District Legislative Representative if you have questions.

PEDA Extension Language

In Solidarity,
AFFI Legislative Committee
Richard, Jeff, Steve and Chuck

International Association of Fire Fighters

Affiliate Leaders:

I am pleased to report that the next round of Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants will allow departments to use these funds to rehire or retain fire fighters, as well as waive the local cost share.  

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Peter Gaynor made the announcement at a House Homeland Security hearing, noting that acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf “exercised his discretionary authority to relax certain requirements within the SAFER grant program.”

Earlier this spring, because of the economic hardships local jurisdictions and fire departments were already facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, I spoke with Secretary Wolf specifically about DHS’s authority to make changes to the SAFER grant program and urged him to allow flexibility in applying for SAFER funds. We have since lobbied diligently to ensure these waivers were permitted.

I want to thank my Assistant for Governmental Affairs and Public Policy Dave Lang, Assistant for Grants Administration Elizabeth Del Re, Director of Governmental Affairs Shannon Meissner and all IAFF staff who worked so hard to make this happen. They deserve the credit for once again showing this union’s power and influence in a way that will benefit our members during what will be a very tough economic period.

In his announcement, Director Gaynor said, “By waiving salary caps, cost shares and prohibitions on supplanting previously budgeted funds, we have reduced financial burdens on applicants and expanded the number of fire departments able to apply. With many municipalities facing a reduction in tax revenue, the waivers for the FY 2020 SAFER grant program will allow fire departments to retain or rehire fire fighters facing layoffs. DHS and FEMA will provide these fire departments with 100 percent of the funding needed to hire fire fighters over the next three years. FEMA anticipates opening the FY 20 application later this calendar year.”

We have confirmed with FEMA that this statement is accurate and that retention and rehiring will indeed be permitted for the next round of SAFER grants, which will be open for application later this year.

We urge you to work with your departments to apply for these grants. Our Grants Department is also available to assist affiliates with applications.

We will send out further notifications and guidance once the application period is announced.

Fraternally,

Harold A. Schaitberger
IAFF General President

Dear AFFI Members,

The AFFI continues to monitor evolving issues and support our local affiliates with resources regarding the Coronavirus pandemic.  We have noted a significant increase in cases of AFFI members testing positive for the virus and others being quarantined over the past few weeks.

As you may be aware, some municipalities and counties are advising to self-quarantine after travel to so called “hot spots” in the US and abroad. We have become aware of some fire departments contemplating similar plans to quarantine their firefighters who travel. We do know of a couple of instances recently that involved direct transmission within our firehouses, possibly related to previous out of state travel. The AFFI, along with attorney Margaret Angelucci, has created two documents to assist your local with any discussions relating to travel that may arise with your employer.

You can access the COVID-19 Travel Information Document here.

You can access the Bargaining information regarding travel here.

This pandemic and issues related to it will continue for the foreseeable future.  As a reminder if you have any questions or require support please contact your District Vice President for assistance.

In Solidarity,
Chuck Sullivan, President
Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois

Here is information on another program available to municipalities.  Please make sure your city is aware of it.

Apply Today: COVID-19 Reimbursement Available under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program

Virtual applicant briefings will guide local governments, nonprofits and houses of worship through reimbursement process

SPRINGFIELD – To assist local governments, nonprofits and religious organizations recoup funds expended during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), and local emergency managers throughout the state, is encouraging entities to attend the scheduled virtual briefings to begin the reimbursement application process to receive federal funds.

“There are more than 1,328 known eligible applicants in the State of Illinois, yet only 159 have applied for reimbursement to date. We do not want anyone to be left behind in the recovery process,” said IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “This funding mechanism is an economic lifeline for communities large and small. Costs eligible for reimbursement include, but are not limited to, overtime costs associated with the COVID-19 response, the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), testing supplies and equipment, housing assistance, purchase and distribution of food, and more. If you have questions about eligibility, we urge you to contact your county emergency management office today.”

Public Assistance (PA) is available in all 102 counties in Illinois where COVID-19 cases have been reported. Under the guidelines of the PA program, local jurisdictions can be reimbursed up to 75 percent of eligible costs for emergency protective measures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to note that the Public Assistance program does not reimburse for lost wages or revenue as a result of the pandemic.

Additionally, the Public Assistance program is not for individuals or business owners affected by the pandemic. The State of Illinois filed for federal Individual Assistance; however, that request is still pending with the federal government.  In the meantime, the U.S. Small Business Administration has made resources available for individuals and businesses.  To learn more, visit the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunitywebsite.

This week (July 6-10), applicant briefings will be conducted virtually for potential applicants. These applicant briefings provide an overview of the program requirements and instructions for completing the required application forms.  Previous webinars can be found on the IEMA website to help guide applicants that are unable to attend one of the scheduled briefings.  For more information, visit the Illinois Emergency Management Agency website.

 

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