Brothers and Sisters,
I’m happy to tell you that we are now able to resume in-person District trainings. COVID cases in Illinois are trending in a positive direction. Mitigation restrictions are being eased. And, many of our members have been vaccinated. All these circumstances contributed to the decision to re-open.
We will be following the Pandemic Event Plan created by the AFFI’s COVID Committee as we resume. Please read what is outlined below carefully. We need to follow these procedures to continue our training and do our part to keep our members healthy and working.
- If you are sick, or have been exposed to someone who is, without appropriate PPE, DO NOT COME TO TRAINING. If you are there, you are certifying that you are symptom free. This self-screening is the first line of defense. Please realize that each venue where we train may have their own screening procedures in place. These procedures MUST be followed in addition to your self-screening prior to coming to drill.
- Masks shall be worn at all times during training.
- If training is classroom based, the District Commander, or his designee, shall develop a seating chart. Attendees shall remain in the same seat throughout the drill. If we have a large turn-out for a training and attendees are split into groups, everyone shall remain with the same group throughout the training. The District Commander, or his designee, shall make note of who is in each group. This may be done by creating a list, or by using separate Training Sign-In sheets for each group. These steps will help us with contact tracing if we do have a positive test following a drill.
- A new Training Sign-In sheet has been created that contains a spot for attendees to include their phone number. This is strictly to assist with contact tracing if we have a positive test. Your phone number will not be used for any other reason.
- If someone tests positive after a training, that member shall notify the State Commander. Likewise, if the host Local learns of a positive test of anyone in the training venue, they shall notify the State Commander. (This includes our members, facility staff, visitors, etc…)
- The State Commander shall notify the AFFI office, the affected Deputy State Commander, and District Commander. The member’s name shall NOT be released unless that member consents.
- The affected Deputy State Commander and District Commander shall personally notify EVERY member who was in attendance. Using the seating chart, or group list, the Commanders shall indicate the proximity of members to the individual who tested positive.
- Exposed members shall follow their individual department’s protocol upon notification of the positive test.
I know this seems like a lot. This is what we need to do to be able to train. Our main goals here are to keep our members at work, and to minimize any negative impact to the Guard, our members, and the AFFI.
I hope the last year’s events have shown everyone the need to get your required trainings completed as early as possible. At this point, we have a little over eight months left during our training year, as long as we don’t go backward again. You never know where we’ll be in a few weeks. Please get out and get trained!
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or any member of the Command Staff.
Stay healthy, and let’s hope that we continue to move in a positive direction. Not just here in Illinois, but throughout the country and the world.
Jay Coburn, Commander
AFFI Honor Guard