Check out the latest training opportunities

First Responder Stress: The Hidden Exposure

Training Date: Monday, September 20, 2021 - 1:00pm

Treating Fire Service Professionals: Building Cultural Competency Description

Training Date: Thursday, September 16, 2021 - 12:00pm

The purpose of this training is to help clinicians/other community partners develop cultural competency in the fire service as to be best equipped to provide effective behavioral health services to fire fighters, paramedics, and emergency dispatchers. This event will include information about day-to-day life at the fire house and the potential impact of aspects of the job on well-being, such as exposure to trauma, shift schedules and mental health stigmas.

This presentation will provide insight into the most common behavioral health issues experienced by fire service members, substance abuse trends among this unique population, and treatment techniques that have proved successful at the Center of Excellence.

Objectives: Identify intricacies of the profession, including day-to-day structure, exposure to trauma, and effects on interpersonal relationships, review common behavioral health issues experienced by members of the fire service and learn about the Center of Excellence & program structure

1 Continuing Education Credit Offered.

Time: 12 PM - 1:30 PM EST

This program is Approved by the National Association of Social Workers for 1 continuing education contact hours.

IAFF Center of Excellence has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No.7114.

Any accommodations for a disability please email,

The course is offered via Zoom. The event is free of charge.

Follow training website link for free registration.

Understanding the Impact of Trauma

Training Date: Thursday, September 23, 2021 - 12:00pm

This webinar will examine chronic and cumulative exposure to potentially traumatic events (PTE) within the fire service. This training is intended for active and retired fire service members, administrators, chaplains, spouses/family members, and treatment providers who are interested in learning more about the impact of trauma on active and retired fire service members and their families.

Topics will cover PTE, post-traumatic stress, acute stress, and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as the ways in which these varying stress levels and traumatic responses affect spouses, children, and social supports. We will identify ways fire service members can be preventative when it comes to post-traumatic stress, how to develop effective coping strategies, and how social supports can better support their fire fighter loved ones.

About the presenter: Molly Jones, LSW is the Clinical Outreach Coordinator at the International Association of Fire Fighters Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery.

Follow the training website link for free registration.

Stress Continuum Model

Training Date: Thursday, September 30, 2021 - 12:00pm

The Stress Continuum Model is an assessment tool, developed by the Navy and Marine Corps, to help service members better identify their stress levels and reactions to stress. This model creates common language, gives examples of observable warning signs for stress, and can be applied to many different populations, including the fire service.

This webinar will help attendees understand how stress develops, better identify unmanaged stress in oneself and peers, and practical ways for managing acute and chronic stress.

IAFF Center of Excellence Clinical Outreach Coordinator, Molly Jones, LSW will be joined by 20-year South Metro, Colorado Fire Department fire fighter/paramedic IAFF Local 2086 member, Ben O’Brien. Molly and Ben will discuss the unique ways fire service members are impacted by stress, and Ben will provide lived experience on the ways in which acute and chronic stress can be best managed by members of the fire service.

Ben created The Functional Man in 2018 and provides consultation and training on stress and resilience. He has provided in-house training to members of the South Metro Fire Department and has worked with local non-profits in the Denver Metro Area to provide education on stress and resilience.


Follow the training website link for free registration

IAFF Resiliency Training


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:

  • Assess your current level of individual resiliency
  • Respond to stress with positive, flexible thinking
  • Increase positive social interactions on and off shift
  • Experience more positive emotions during your day
  • Manage stress through tactical breathing, meditation and mindfulness
  • Challenge personal and occupational barriers to good nutrition and exercise
  • Build meaning and purpose in your daily life through spirituality


In-Person Trainings

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.

Virtual Trainings

There are two ways to attend a virtual training:

  • Through Your Organization:
    The IAFF Virtual Resiliency Training can be hosted by an IAFF local or affiliated fire department, and participation in the training is limited to those the host organization invites. If your local or department is interested in hosting a virtual training, please complete the IAFF Virtual Resiliency Training Request Form and email it to
  • As An Individual:
    The IAFF Virtual Resiliency Training will also be hosted by IAFF headquarters on limited number of dates. These trainings are open to all IAFF members and fire service personnel. Check back here for upcoming training dates or sign up here to be notified of scheduled trainings.

The Safety Planning Intervention for Suicide Prevention


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:

  • Determine a fire fighter’s suicidal risk and when the Safety Planning Intervention is appropriate.
  • Explain the suicidal crisis model and the rationale for developing a Safety Plan.
  • List the six steps of the Safety Plan worksheet and describe their purpose.
  • Provide guidance when choosing the most effective tools to complete each Safety Planning step.
  • Identify barriers that are frequently encountered when creating a Safety Plan.
  • Plan an appropriate follow-up after the intervention

Click on the Training Website link and then Advanced Peer Support Training.

Community Education for Fire Fighters and First Responders


View Past IAFF COE Webinars by Topic


Addiction in the Fire Service: Training for Fire Fighters, Paramedics & Dispatchers

Led by Molly Jones, LSW on June 25, 2020 

Overcoming Addiction: A Fire Fighter’s Experience

Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Jeff Gauthier, Local 215 Milwaukee on October 15, 2020

Opioid Addiction, Treatment and One Fire Fighter’s Journey

Led by Lauren Kosc, MA, LCPC & Lieutenant Chris Goggin, Local 718 Boston on April 15, 2021

Substance Abuse & Cognitive Distortions

Led by Dr. Kristin Klimley, Psy.D on May 20, 2021

Trauma, Grief, and Post-Traumatic Stress

Trauma in the Fire Service: A Discussion on Post Traumatic Stress

Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Ray Rahne, IAFF 9th District Vice President on July 16, 2020

Trauma in the Fire Service

Led by Lauren Kosc, MA, LCPC & Ray Rahne, IAFF 9th District Vice President on November 4, 2020

Grief and the Fire Service

Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Joanne Steen, MS, NCC on March 4, 2021

Utilizing EMDR When Working With Fire Service Members

Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Ari Brooks, LCSW on March 18, 2021

Suicide in the Fire Service: Prevention Planning & Intervention Strategies

Led by Dr. Brandy Benson of Tampa Bay Psychology and Molly Jones, LSW on September 24, 2020.

Understanding Anxiety

Led by Molly Jones, LSW on April 8, 2021.

Behavioral Health in Retirement for Fire Service Members

Led by Molly Jones, LCSW & Chris Fields, Ret. Major, Oklahoma City, OK Fire Department on May 13, 2021.

Fire Service Families

Help Starts at Home: Fire Service Families and Behavioral Health

Led by Molly Jones, LSW, Dawn Roy, LCSW & Theresa Boles, Local 1271 Surrey on November 12, 2020

Fire Family Dynamics: Promoting Healthy Home Lives

Led by Molly Jones, LSW, Mike Wells, Local 1619 Prince George’s County on February 18, 2021

Healthy Relationship Building and Maintenance for Fire Service Couples

Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Jasmyne Kennewick, MAMFT, LMFT, RPT, CSST on February 25, 2021

Peer Support

An Introduction to IAFF Peer Support and Program Development

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

Understanding Peer Support in the Fire Service

Led by Lauren Kosc, MA, LCPC & Justin Price, Local 947 Greensboro on August 13, 2020

Clinical Training

Addiction in the Fire Service: Training for Clinicians

Led by Molly Jones, LSW on June 18, 2020

Trauma in the Fire Service for Clinicians

Led by Lauren Kosc, MA, LCPC & Ray Rahne, IAFF 9th District Vice President on July 30, 2020

Treating Fire Service Professionals: Building Cultural Competency for Clinicians

Led by Molly Jones, LSW on April 22, 2021

Work Life Balance in the Fire Service

Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Theresa Boles, Local 1271 Surrey on September 10,2020

Health Insurance Coverage for IAFF Members

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

Navigating the Behavioral Health Care System for Fire Service Members

Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Tina Casola, LMFT, First Alarm Wellness on October 22, 2020

Managing Stress in 2021: Strategies for Success

Led by Molly Jones, LSW on January 21, 2021


Behavioral Health Among Fire Fighters and Paramedics

Led by Abby Morris, MD

Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Overview of 2020 Education and What’s to Come in 2021

Led by Molly Jones, LSW on December 17, 2020

Introduction to Fire Fighter Behavioral Health: Enhancing your Knowledge

Led by Molly Jones, LSW on January 14, 2021


SAMHSA Creating Safe Scenes Training Course


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:

  • Understand how individuals come to experience a behavioral health crisis
  • Understand how best to make a safe connection with an individual experiencing a crisis
  • Learn about de-escalation strategies for working with people in crisis
  • Learn strategies for developing community networks and referral resources
  • Understand how to improve the safety of both the responder and the individual in crisis

SAMHSA First Response: Working on the Front Lines of the Opioid Crisis Training Course


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:

  • Describe the opioid crisis, including its extent and how it affects the critical work that first responders do;
  • Describe mental health and substance use issues and mental and substance use disorders that are more common among first responders than the general public;
  • Recognize the warning signs of mental and substance use disorders in yourself and your peers;
  • Help reduce stigma, or negative and incorrect ideas about mental and substance use disorders—including the nature of opioid use and misuse, opioid use disorder, and addiction, and the needs of first responders;
  • Identify and use stress management and healthy coping strategies; and
  • Share evidence-based practices and resources for self-care and positive responses to work stress.

IAFF Disaster Response Peer Support



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.

Service to Self online training through SAMHSA


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

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


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.