The American Institute of Stress https://www.stress.org/how-the-best-handle-s
Please join us at our December webinar as we welcome guest speakers Myrrhanda Jones, IAFF Center of Excellence Community Outreach Director, and Douglas Brown, a Columbus Fire Lt. and author of "A Firefighter Christmas Carol and Other Stories." With the holiday season upon us stress can overwhelm and sometimes we need a little help to make it through this time of year. This month's speakers bring different perspectives to the peer support forum and show the eclectic nature of first responders.
Myrrhanda Jones works at the IAFF Center of Excellence(COE), a flagship recovery center exclusively for IAFF members. The COE offers a safe space where fire fighters and paramedics struggling with substance abuse disorders and other behavioral health concerns can recover and heal. Myrrhanda will present information about the IAFF COE's services and how to access this valuable resource.
Lt. Douglas Brown, Columbus Fire Department, uses fiction and inspiration from a Dickens' classic novella to spotlight first responder PTSD. Brown's most recent book, "A Firefighter Christmas Carol and Other Stories" offers a connection between his work as a first responder and his artistry as a published author. During this webinar, we will have an opportunity to learn more about this poignant textual work and Doug's overall message to all first responders.
Save the Date Announcement for the 2022 OAPFF Health and Safety Conference outside of Columbus, Ohio.
February 14-16, 2022.
Join us as we learn from an international line-up of industry professionals speaking about the latest information in the many issues facing Fire, EMS, LEO, and 911 Telecom professionals. Come expecting to take home practical solutions for dealing with addiction, depression, PTSD, and how to help those around you. In the words of our Executive Director, “Our central goal is to provide practical solutions. We want participants to leave each presentation with new knowledge they can return home and practically put into place. It’s important to me they leave with what they need to make a difference in first responder mental health whether its their own, their family’s, or someone on their team.”
The IAFF Resiliency Training is designed for 40 in-person participants (or 25 students in the virtual format). Through a combination of self-assessment, didactic instruction, group discussion and video, participants will gain an essential foundation for personal resiliency on and off the job.
The IAFF Resiliency Training includes two components: pre-course content and classroom content. Pre-course content includes an individual resiliency assessment completed online, followed by a one-hour video series on organizational resiliency. Classroom content will focus on six key concepts to gain resiliency building skills that can be applied both on and off the job.
The IAFF Resiliency Training will teach you to:
Trainings are hosted by an IAFF local or affiliated fire department. Because host sites typically choose to limit attendance to their own IAFF local or neighboring departments, the upcoming training schedule is not posted online.
Occasionally, a host site has space available for outside participants. The IAFF maintains a list of those who have expressed interest in learning when class openings occur. Notification is typically sent to the list within a few weeks of the training date.
Individuals who want to participate in the training at another host site must: (1) obtain the approval of their local president; (2) register and communicate directly with the host point of contact; and (3) be responsible for travel expenses and any registration fee charged by the host.
Sign up to be placed on the IAFF Resiliency Support Training Contact List.
There are two ways to attend a virtual training:
The Safety Planning Intervention for Suicide Prevention training covers how to complete the Safety Planning Intervention with fire fighters who have made a suicide attempt, reported thinking about suicide or who otherwise may be at risk of suicide. Through this process, the fire fighter will learn how to recognize when they are experiencing a suicidal crisis and will develop a prioritized written list of tools they can use to keep themselves safe. This Safety Plan acts as an emergency plan, or standard operating guide (SOG), to avert a crisis and prevent the fire fighter from acting on their suicidal thoughts or urges.
After completing the course, you will be able to:
Click on the Training Website link and then Advanced Peer Support Training.
View Past IAFF COE Webinars by Topic
Led by Molly Jones, LSW on June 25, 2020
Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Jeff Gauthier, Local 215 Milwaukee on October 15, 2020
Led by Lauren Kosc, MA, LCPC & Lieutenant Chris Goggin, Local 718 Boston on April 15, 2021
Led by Dr. Kristin Klimley, Psy.D on May 20, 2021
Trauma, Grief, and Post-Traumatic Stress
Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Ray Rahne, IAFF 9th District Vice President on July 16, 2020
Led by Lauren Kosc, MA, LCPC & Ray Rahne, IAFF 9th District Vice President on November 4, 2020
Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Joanne Steen, MS, NCC on March 4, 2021
Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Ari Brooks, LCSW on March 18, 2021
Led by Dr. Brandy Benson of Tampa Bay Psychology and Molly Jones, LSW on September 24, 2020.
Led by Molly Jones, LSW on April 8, 2021.
Led by Molly Jones, LCSW & Chris Fields, Ret. Major, Oklahoma City, OK Fire Department on May 13, 2021.
Fire Service Families
Led by Molly Jones, LSW, Dawn Roy, LCSW & Theresa Boles, Local 1271 Surrey on November 12, 2020
Led by Molly Jones, LSW, Mike Wells, Local 1619 Prince George’s County on February 18, 2021
Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Jasmyne Kennewick, MAMFT, LMFT, RPT, CSST on February 25, 2021
Led by Sarah Bernes, MPH, LMSW, MBA, Jeff Campbell of Local 1660 Tualatin Valley & Heith Good of Local 1723 Norwich Township on August 20, 2020
Led by Lauren Kosc, MA, LCPC & Justin Price, Local 947 Greensboro on August 13, 2020
Led by Molly Jones, LSW on June 18, 2020
Led by Lauren Kosc, MA, LCPC & Ray Rahne, IAFF 9th District Vice President on July 30, 2020
Led by Molly Jones, LSW on April 22, 2021
Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Theresa Boles, Local 1271 Surrey on September 10,2020
Led by Kelly Savage & Myrrhanda Jones, Center of Excellence Outreach Directors & Jim Tate, IAFF Health Care Advisor and Local 440 Fort Worth President Emeritus on December 2, 2020
Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Tina Casola, LMFT, First Alarm Wellness on October 22, 2020
Led by Molly Jones, LSW on January 21, 2021
Led by Abby Morris, MD
Led by Molly Jones, LSW on December 17, 2020
Led by Molly Jones, LSW on January 14, 2021
This free online course helps first responders assist individuals in crisis with mental illness or substance use disorder using safe, positive approaches.
Creating Safe Scenes is a free, Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE)- accredited, online training course that helps first responders—police, fire, and emergency medical services—work with individuals experiencing a mental health and/or substance use crisis.
This course is designed to help first responders understand more about mental health, mental illness, and substance use disorders so they can better assess risks and apply the safest strategies for taking care of themselves and the individuals they are called to serve.
Creating Safe Scenes—which includes first-hand video accounts from responders and mental health consumers, quizzes, resources, and a final exam—will help first responders:
This free, 1-hour, online training course was developed in response to the impact of the opioid crisis on first responders across the country. It addresses the mental and physical stressors faced by firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, and police when responding to opioid overdose calls. This course also provides evidence-based coping strategies, resources, and exercises to help mitigate the impacts of these stressful events.
The course is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE). Course participants complete a final exam to obtain continuing education credit.
After completing this course, you will be able to do the following:
The Disaster Response Peer Support training was developed as a result of more frequent and more severe natural and man-made disasters. The training provides peer supporters with information on how disasters contribute to behavioral health problems and how to intervene. Participants will learn the importance of promoting five key concepts: safety, calming, efficacy, connectedness and hope.
The goal of the program is to:
•Describe how disasters can contribute to behavioral health problems.
•Identify how peer support after a disaster is different than a typical peer support call or activity.
•List the multiple roles involved in providing peer support at a disaster area.
•Apply five principles that should guide all disaster response.
•Identify self-care activities for peer supporters before, during and after deploying to a disaster area.
•List available IAFF resources for disaster relief.
Click on the Training Website link and then Advanced Peer Support Training.
This free online training course informs fire and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel about their increased risk of experiencing mental health and substance use issues and conditions. It also equips them with information and resources to address these issues in themselves or their peers.
Service to Self: Behavioral Health for Fire and EMS Personnel is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE).
Course participants complete a final exam to obtain continuing education credit.
This 60-minute course includes relatable firsthand video accounts from volunteer and career firefighters and emergency medical technicians, as well as helpful resources and interactive components to support learning.
This course is designed to help firefighters and EMS personnel to:
Mental Health First Aid for Fire and EMS focuses on the unique experiences and needs of firefighters and EMS personnel and is a valuable resource that can make a difference in their lives, their families’ lives and the communities in which they live. Firefighters and EMS workers learn about the importance of early intervention and how, as first responders, they can intervene in the field and provide direct assistance to someone who is experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis. You can find a course on this site by clicking on "Search for Course"
An online training for first responders developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administraion. This training will provide CEU's for both Peer Support Team members and for paramedics.
For clinicians, the first step to learning more about providing behavioral health services to firefighters and EMS personnel is to take the free online course, Helping Heroes. This course was developed by the Medical University of South Carolina’s National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. It offers behavioral health professionals easy access to instruction that will enable them to apply the very best evidence-based approaches to the issues presented by their fire service clients. Helping Heroes is a web-based training package designed to run on all popular software and hardware platforms. Each of the 10 training modules requires approximately one hour to complete, and an additional component serves as a session-by-session toolkit guide.
Stress First Aid has been identified as the recommended protocol following a Potentially Traumatic Event. This online training will provide a working knowledge of the practice and principles of Stress First Aid in the fire service. You must register for a free account with Fire Hero Lerning Network in order to take this course.
Firefighter Life Safety Initiative #13 states: "Firefighters and their families should have access to counseling and psychological support." Stress First Aid (SFA), an important component of fulfilling this Life Safety Initiative, is a set of supportive actions designed to help emergency responders assist each other in reducing the negative impacts of stress. SFA was designed specifically to support firefighters, EMS, and rescue personnel. This module teaches SFA at the awareness level, focusing on:
This method of assisting a co-worker undergoing stress is practical, flexible, and can be tailored to the specific need.
Course Summary The goal of this course to educate IAFF members on behavioral health issues in the fire service. The course provides a basic overview of common behavioral health problems and available treatment options, information on balancing work and life stressors, and how to improve the behavioral health services offered in local departments. Successful completion of this course is a prerequisite for the IAFF Peer Support Train-the-Trainer Program. You must be an active member with the IAFF and create an online account to take this course.
An online training opportunity for officers, mental health providers, chaplains, and peer support team members.
Access to lethal means can determine whether a person who is suicidal lives or dies. This course explains why means restriction is an important part of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention. It will teach you how to ask suicidal patients/clients about their access to lethal means, and work with them and their families to reduce their access. After completing this course you will be able to: Explain why reducing access to lethal means is an effective way of saving lives. Describe the role of impulsivity, ambivalence, and differing lethality of methods in contributing to suicide deaths and attempts. Describe how counseling on access to lethal means fits into suicide prevention counseling. Ask your patients/clients about their access to lethal means. Work with your patients/clients on reducing access to lethal means, particularly firearms and medications, including: Communicate effectively with your patients/clients about this issue. Set goals for reducing access and develop a plan that is acceptable to both you and your patients/clients.
You must create a free online account in order to take this training.