Stress and anxiety in the workplace and in our personal lives are common problem for firefighters and EMS responders-they can be job-killers and destroy our families. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s Stress First Aid program can guide you and your firefighters on how to cope and survive even with these issues. Now, the Federal Government can bring this important program to your fire department.
A behavioral health plan is required for departments applying for Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) Wellness and Fitness Activities. Stress First Aid meets that criteria, which mean AFG funds can be used to pay for hosting Stress First Aid training. Stress First Aid is designed for those interested in working on or with peer support teams or increasing the skills of firefighters and EMS providers in caring for themselves and one another. Participants learn how to recognize key signs of stress and offer guidance for intervention.
“As firefighters, we know how to help others in crisis, but we don’t know how to ask for help when we need it. As more fire departments look for ways to offer behavioral health support, this training will become increasingly valuable,” said Chief Ronald Siarnicki, executive director of the NFFF. “We encourage any departments who are interested to apply for the AFG funding.”
The training supports Firefighter Life Safety Initiative #13, Firefighters and their families must have access to counseling and psychological support.
For more information about the AFG application process and details on writing the grant application, please go to: www.fema.gov/firegrants.
To learn more about Stress First Aid, visit the NFFF behavioral health website: flsi13.everyonegoeshome.com. For more information about Stress First Aid training, including the costs for hosting a training event, contact Amy Tippett at [email protected]