Check out the latest training opportunities

IAFF Center of Excellence

Training Date: Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

The purpose of this event is to provide continuing education in behavioral health matters for fire service professionals. This presentation “Work Life Balance in the Fire Service” will address the importance of establishing a work-life balance in an ever-changing, high-stress, occupational environment.

This presentation is ideal for IAFF members, fire service leadership, peer support team members, chaplains, spouses and other individuals in a capacity to support first responders in pursuing a work-life balance. We will also address how this balance may be affected during a pandemic and strategies for improving this dynamic in an unprecedented time.

Speaker Information:

Molly Jones, LSW, is the Clinical Coordinator for the IAFF Center of Excellence. In this role, Molly is responsible for working with community clinical partners across North America to design continuing care plans for clients returning to their local areas after treatment at the Center of Excellence. She travels the country providing continuing education to first responders on behavioral health topics and clinicians on cultural competency in the fire service. Molly earned a Masters in Social Worker from the University of Oklahoma and has extensive experience in case management, behavioral health treatment and human services. In addition to case management oversight and continuing education, Molly works with local and state IAFF leadership to connect fire fighters to quality clinicians, prescribers and programs in communities across the U.S.

Service to Self online training through SAMHSA

Training Date: Thursday, November 28, 2019 - 8:15pm to Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 8:15pm

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:

  • Be aware of risk factors for and prevalence of mental health and substance use issues in their professional communities.
  • Recognize the warning signs of mental health and substance use issues in yourself and your peers.
  • Discuss mental health and substance use-related issues with colleagues to help reduce stigma.
  • Identify and use stress management and healthy coping strategies. Be aware of and share evidence-based practices and resources for increasing capacity to cope with occupational stressors.

Webinar Words Matter: How to Safely Communicate About Suicide

Training Date: Thursday, November 28, 2019 - 8:00pm to Monday, November 30, 2020 - 8:00pm

Webinar - Firefighters and Resilience, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

Training Date: Monday, July 8, 2019 - 5:30pm to Sunday, July 24, 2022 - 5:30pm
Nathan Stoermer is a suicide attempt survivor, ardent supporter, and speaker on firefighter mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Chief Stoermer holds a bachelor’s degree in Fire Administration from Eastern Kentucky University, an associates degree in Paramedic Science from Ivy Tech Community College, and various fire & EMS certifications including being designated as a Chief Fire Officer from the CPSE and currently enrolled in the EFOP. Chief Stoermer is driven to leave the company under which he serves better than he found it.

Mental Health First Aid

Training Date: Friday, March 1, 2019 - 5:45am to Monday, March 1, 2021 - 5:45am

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"

Service to Self – Behavioral Health for Fire and EMS Personnel


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.

Training for Clinicians who work with Firefighters


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.

Online Stress First Aid Training

Training Date: Tuesday, January 1, 2019 - 12:15am to Wednesday, January 1, 2020 - 12:15am

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:

  • Understanding stress
  • Recognizing how stress manifests in thoughts, words, and actions
  • Delivering the "Seven C's" of Stress First Aid (Check, Coordinate, Cover, Calm, Connect, Competence, Confidence) to each other

This method of assisting a co-worker undergoing stress is practical, flexible, and can be tailored to the specific need.

IAFF Online Behavioral Health Awareness Course


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.

Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (CALM) - Suicide Prevention


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.

SAMHSA - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration


New Behavioral Health Resources Available for First Responders In a recent national survey of firefighters and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, 19 percent reported having had thoughts of suicide, 27 percent reported having struggled with substance use issues, and 81 percent said they feared being seen as weak or unfit for duty if they asked for help. Law enforcement, fire and rescue, and emergency response are professions where communication is mission critical—so why aren’t first responders talking more about their behavioral health? SAMHSA has developed new resources and materials with significant input from first responders. We hope you’ll continue reading to learn more about the following new materials available and share them with colleagues and friends.