Injury Reporting Terms

Common terms

Exposure - people, properties, systems or natural features that are or may be exposed to the harmful effects of a hazardous materials emergency.

Injury - physical damage suffered by a person.

Trauma - an injury or wound to a living body caused by the application of external force or violence. Examples include: sprains, bruises, fractures, dislocations and concussion.

IDLH - immediately dangerous to life and health.

Severity levels

Minor - the injured individual misses less than one full duty period.

Serious - the injured individual misses at least one full duty period but does not require admission to the hospital for care or observation. (The individual may go to the hospital for minor treatment, such as sutures, IV hydration, etc.). The individual may either not return to duties or return to modified/light duty or have a change of duty.

Fatal - the individual does not survive the event.

Activity at the time of injury

EMS - whether a department handles first response on the fire side or has a specific EMS division (providing patient care).

Fire prevention - inspections, pre-fire planning, public education, fire investigations.

Fire suppression - structure fires, car fires, smoke investigations.

Rescue-Fire - fire-related rescues (during a fire event).

Rescue-Non-Fire - swift water, confined space, trench, extrication and other rescues.

Skills training - classroom, physical drills, air consumption testing

Responding TO - tone or notification of incident, preparation to respond, responding to a scene and arriving on-scene. Once an individual starts another task (pulling hose, walk around), the individual is no longer "Responding TO" because his or her activities have shifted to suppression, etc.

Returning FROM - back on the apparatus and leaving scene, traveling back to the station or the assignment prior to the call, parking apparatus. Once the apparatus is parked and the individual starts another assignment (such as placing equipment back in service), the individual is no longer "Returning FROM."

Station duties - any activity done around the station, not an emergency response activity. Examples include checking apparatus, moving apparatus, checking hydrants, or maintaining the station (mowing, cleaning bays, house-keeping, etc.).

Wellness/Fitness - performing physical fitness training or fit-for-duty testing, etc.

Injury types

Burns (listed as "burn," but we are looking for the type of burn)

Burns, thermal - due to a heat source such as flame or contact with a hot object.

Burn, scald or steam.

Burn, chemical.

Burn, electric.


Examples include: dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, poison ivy, drowning, and frostbite.


Examples include: dog and/or human bites, fire ants, bees, etc.

Exposure Airborne Pathogen

Atmospheric disbursed contaminant. Examples include: meningitis, TB, Strep, influenza, fungus, bacterial pneumonia (lungs) cough and asbestos.

Exposure Blood-borne Pathogen

Fluid or liquid based contaminant. Examples include: needle sticks, Staph, Hepatitis C, and ringworm.

Exposure - Undetermined


Exposure Body Fluids

Bodily Fluids (spit, sneeze, vomit, feces and saliva).

Exposure Chemical

Examples include: pesticides, hydrogen sulfide, and fire fighting foam, gasoline, propane and natural gas and chlorine.

Hearing Loss

Chronic - long term. Examples include: long term exposure to sirens.

Acute - short term. Examples include: exposure to loud speakers at a concert or shooting from a firearm.

Pain Medical Unspecified

Injuries that are not trauma related or any other medical condition that has not been medically determined by a health care practitioner, Examples include: food poisoning, gall bladder, kidney stones, flu, transient ischemic attack (TIA), appendicitis and non-specific allergic reaction.


Soft tissue injuries. Examples include: scrapes, cuts, contusions and bruises and choking.

Work assignment status after injury - duty assignments

Change of duty (permanent) - the individual does not report back to his or her original work assignment, the department assigns new duties. (An example: Prior to an injury, the individual was assigned to suppression, but after the injury is assigned to training as his or her new permanent duty.)


Medically separated - the non-punitive, non-disciplinary process of removing a recovering employee from a position of employment with the city pursuant to Section 143.1115 of the Texas Local Government Code OR employees that may be separated due to the fact that they cannot perform the duties as hired.

Modified/Light (temporary) - the individual performs other duties then original duties prior to the injury. This could include light administrative work, but not his or her normal assigned duties. (This was previously called "restricted duty.")

No longer with department - whether resigned or terminated.

Not returned - the individual has not returned to work and is still on leave.

Regular duty - the individual performs the same assigned duties as prior to injury.

Retired - the individual retires.