November Community Education Webinars Help Fire Service Families

Author: IAFF Center of Excellence Staff

November 4, 2020

The IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery will host three more community education webinars in November. The events cover behavioral health issues in the fire service and are designed for IAFF members, their families, the clinicians who serve them and community partners. Community education webinars are free, open to the public and hosted through Zoom.

Trauma in the Fire Service

This webinar training on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. EST, is intended for clinicians who are interested in working with fire service personnel, as well as fire fighters or fire fighter family members who want to learn more about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how it’s treated. The webinar will be led by Lauren Kosc, LCPC, CCTP and feature guest Ray Rahne, IAFF 9th District Vice President, who will provide insight on his own experience with PTSD. Presenters will take questions, which can be submitted in advance to [email protected]. Topics will cover:

  • Data on PTS, PTSD and other prominent behavioral health problems in the fire service
  • Unique aspects of trauma among fire service personnel
  • The spectrum of trauma disorders
  • An introduction to evidence-based treatment for PTSD
  • The role of peer support in addressing fire service trauma

This presentation will also introduce attendees to the IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery, which specializes in the treatment of post-traumatic stress, substance use disorders and other related mental health issues among fire service members. The IAFF Center of Excellence is the only treatment center in North America that exclusively treats fire fighters, paramedics and dispatchers.

Fire fighter holding his arm sitting away from his fellow crew members

Help Starts at Home: Fire Service Families and Behavioral Health

This webinar on Thursday, November 12, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. EST, will provide spouses, family members and other loved ones insight into behavioral health issues among fire service members and strategies for navigating them successfully. Fire fighters themselves can also benefit from this insightful discussion on best practices for communication among spouses and other family members.

This webinar will be hosted by IAFF Center of Excellence Clinical Outreach Coordinator Molly Jones, LSW. She will be joined by Dawn Roy, LCSW, of Stanford, Connecticut, and Theresa Snow, fire fighter/paramedic and member of Surrey, BC Local 1271.

Dawn is an outpatient clinician specializing in treating first responders, a founding member of the Fairfield County (CT) Trauma Response Network, a mother of two and the wife of a captain within the local fire department. Theresa is an 18-year fire fighter/paramedic and an IAFF Peer Support instructor, as well as a CISM and peer team member for the Surrey Fire Department. She is the mother of a 12-year old daughter and the wife of a fellow fire fighter/paramedic.

Dawn and Theresa will each share perspectives on their experience as fire fighter spouses, strategies for managing occupational stressors at home and discuss how family members can develop awareness of the signs and symptoms related to the most commonly experienced behavioral health issues among fire service members.

Treating Fire Service Professionals: Building Cultural Competency for Clinicians

This online training on Thursday, November 19, 2020, 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 aftercare referrals to provide a continuation of care for clients with providers who understand the intricacies of the fire service.

We can help. Call 240-545-5141 or

Get Help Now