March Community Education Webinar Discusses Grief in the Fire Service

Author: IAFF Center of Excellence Staff

February 26, 2021

The IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery’s March webinars address grief in the fire service and explore how Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy can help fire fighters, paramedics and emergency dispatchers.

The Center’s vital cultural competency webinar for clinicians also returns in March to help clinicians learn how to effectively treat fire service personnel. Community education webinars are free, open to the public and hosted through Zoom.

Grief and the Fire Service

This training on Thursday, March 4, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. (EST) will discuss the basics of grief and provide attendees with a greater understanding of the grieving process, applicable to loss experienced by fire service members and civilians alike. The presenters will:

  • Define and discuss the different types of loss
  • Identify the six components of grief
  • Discuss factors that influence how grief is experienced
  • Explain the universal feelings of grief
  • Teach appropriate grief language

This training will also discuss how fire service members experience sudden death, anticipated death and traumatic loss. Attendees will be better prepared to address their own needs related to grief, as well as learn how to best support their peers and loved ones who may be grieving.

Utilizing EMDR When Working With Fire Service Members

Molly Jones, LSW and Ari Brooks, LCSW will provide an overview of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy on Thursday, March 18, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. (EST). This webinar will address why this modality is useful when treating fire service members experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related symptoms.

Attendees will gain a greater understanding of EMDR therapy, how it works and why it is an effective modality in treating trauma experienced by fire service members. This webinar is appropriate for fire service members, treatment providers, family members, spouses or anyone who is curious to learn more about EMDR.

This training will also include stories and video(s) from real-life fire scenes to help attendees understand how the fire service occupation may put members at risk for exposure to potentially traumatic events.

Treating Fire Service Professionals: Building Cultural Competency

This webinar on Thursday, March 25, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. (EST) helps clinicians and other community partners develop cultural competency in the fire service to provide effective behavioral health treatment to fire fighters, paramedics and emergency dispatchers.

The event covers day-to-day life at the firehouse 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 also provides insight on:

  • Common behavioral health issues experienced by fire service members
  • Substance use trends among this unique population of professionals
  • Treatment techniques that have proved successful at the IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery

Completing this training will establish clinicians as preferred providers in the IAFF Center of Excellence database for outpatient and aftercare referrals to provide a continuation of care for clients with providers who understand the intricacies of the fire service.

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