By Allison Ward The Columbus Dispatch
In this inaugural First Responder Mental Health Awareness Summit, COTC’s Institute for Public Services and Safety brings awareness to the mental health and well-being of first responders. A 2017 white paper by the Ruderman Family Foundation revealed that police officers and firefighters are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty. We invite the first responder community in addition to mental health professionals to attend this event to help bring awareness to many of the deeply personal issues that are creating a sense of urgency within the public safety sector.
The 2019 Redmond Symposium and Barbera EMS Conference includes an innovative presentation platform and cutting-edge technology to enhance the educational experience, including general sessions, topic-specific workshops and information sessions. Exhibitors include fire service and EMS equipment manufacturers, fitness companies and other vendors. Fire fighters, EMS providers, medical directors, physicians, occupational safety professionals and fitness trainers are all encouraged to attend. The John P. Redmond Symposium, established in 1971, focuses on the occupational health and safety hazards of the fire service and features a combination of workshops, discussions and exhibits designed to keep fire and emergency service professionals up to date on the latest strategies and tools for staying safer on the job. The John P. Redmond Foundation was established as a nonprofit organization at the IAFF Convention in 1958 in the memory of John P. Redmond, the IAFF’s fourth general president, long-time 8th district vice president and president of Chicago, IL Local 2 who died in office in 1957 from occupational heart disease. The Dominick F. Barbera EMS Conference explores all aspects of fire-based emergency medical services and is designed to help improve the effectiveness of EMS by providing the tools necessary to develop and enhance response capability and protect working conditions. The first EMS Conference was held in 1991. In 1998, IAFF Convention delegates voted to rename the conference the Dominick F. Barbera Emergency Medical Services Conference, effective upon Barbera’s retirement in 2006. Vice President Emeritus Barbera served as IAFF 12th district vice president from 1984 to 2006, and as Local 1403 president from 1980 to 1993 and again from 2000 to 2003.
About this Event
Presented by 1st Responder Conferences Hosted by Franklin County Suicide Prevention Coalition Co-hosted by Code 4 NW, Blue H.E.L.P.
This training is for all 1st responders, police, fire, military/veterans, corrections, dispatchers, chaplains, retired 1st responders, spouses, professional staff, clinicians, and all who work in the public safety field. (Spouses and significant others are encouraged to register.) 1st Responder Conferences presents a multi-faceted two-day seminar and networking event for improving the mental health and wellness of our first responders. By discussing the real 21st Century issues that are consistently facing our first responders and their families, our conference will provide awareness, resources and action items to combat PTSD, depression, suicide, addiction, stress, and overall mental health. 1st Responder Conferences proudly introduces a line-up of credible nationally recognized speakers who will address matters that impact the personal and professional lives of first responders and their family members through dynamic and engaging presentations for the entire first responder community. This two-day seminar is unique in that your spouses or significant others who support you are invited to come learn with you. With a progressive and forward message of optimism and sustainability, 1st Responder Conferences goal is pushing past traditional silence and bringing first responder wellness to our America's Heroes.
The Fire Service Behavioral Health Symposium, the first event of its kind, will be held in Denver, Colorado on September 5-6, 2019.
The objective of this meeting is to review, before a broad fire service audience, the current state of research as it relates to behavioral health in the fire service, and to support knowledge transfer of best practices related to behavioral health programs in the fire service. The goals of the symposium are: To provide researchers with an opportunity to deliver the latest information that science can tell us regarding behavioral health in the fire service to a broad audience. To disseminate best practices that will enable fire service attendees to transition the known scientific evidence about behavioral health into actionable activity at the department level. To provide fire service attendees with an opportunity to have an open dialogue with researchers and clinicians to discuss pertinent issues and receive first hand recommendations and best practices related to behavioral health awareness and treatment programs at the local level. To enable researchers to gather feedback from primary stakeholders and solicit information regarding needs for future fire service behavioral health research.
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.
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.