Biometrics is the process by which a person’s unique physical traits are detected and recorded by an electronic device or system as a means of confirming identity. All sworn members of the Chicago Fire Department have been activated in the City of Chicago’s biometrics program. The program was effective October 1, 2012 at 0800 hours.
The HandPunch® 3000 is a biometric hand scanner which is currently in place at City of Chicago facilities, including CFD fire stations and other administrative buildings such as CFD Headquarters, Fire Academy South, and the Robert J. Quinn Fire Academy.
Firefighters must carry their Fire Department ID Card throughout their tour of duty, and company officers verify possession fo the ID by all members under their command.
Identification involves swiping a Fire Department ID card and biometrics analysis of the firefighter’s right hand with a biometrics scanner.
Health and Wellness and Chicago Lives Healthy
Firefighters are also involved in another type biometrics involving health promotion and wellness. A biometric screening is a quick and easy check-up that helps evaluates health status and pinpoints health issues before they become detrimental. A health care professional collects your height and weight measurements, waist measurement and blood pressure. The health care professional then administers a small finger-stick blood test measuring cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose levels. Results are received immediately.
Chicago Lives Healthy is a comprehensive wellness program for eligible city employees and spouses/ domestic partners/civil union spouses covered by the employee’s health plan. The program offers a powerful but flexible approach to wellness aimed at helping eligible employees and their spouses/domestic partners/civil union spouses achieve improvements in their health and well-being and live healthier lives.
The design includes active participation on behalf of the city employee population with the goal of improving health and helping maintain a high value health care benefits at a reasonable cost to employees.
Chicago firefighters are participating in “Chicago Lives Healthy” Wellness program, which was conceived and established as part of the duties of the Labor/Management Cooperation Committee (LMCC). The LMCC is the Labor-sponsored healthcare model created to keep healthcare costs down.
Onsite biometric screenings began December 6, 2013.
Biometric screenings are also scheduled for availability on January 18, 2014 at local Walgreens Pharmacy locations.
If firefighters and/or covered spouse/domestic partner/civil union spouses do not complete a biometric screening by March 8, 2014, firefighters will incur a $50 per non-participant increase in monthly employee health care contribution.