Community Education Webinars Continue Throughout October

Author: IAFF Center of Excellence Staff

October 7, 2020

The IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery will host three community education webinars in October to train IAFF members and the clinicians who serve them on behavioral health issues in the fire service. Community education webinars are free, open to the public and hosted through Zoom.

Treating Fire Service Professionals: Building Cultural Competency for Clinicians

This online training on Thursday, October 8, 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.

Fire fighters talking in front of a fire truck about recovery

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

This webinar on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. EST, provides continuing education in behavioral health matters for fire service professionals. “Addiction in the Fire Service” will address various types of substance use disorders and addiction experienced among fire fighters, paramedics and dispatchers. It will provide insight into signs and symptoms of substance use and addiction, as well as resources to find help for yourself or a peer.

The webinar features testimony from Jeff Gauthier, a 20-year veteran of the Milwaukee Fire Department and member of Milwaukee Local 215. Jeff is in recovery from substance use disorder and uses his experience to help others as an IAFF master Peer Support instructor. He joins us to provide insight from a fire fighter’s perspective and take questions from participants.

This presentation is ideal for IAFF members, fire service leadership, peer support team members, chaplains, spouses and others in a capacity to support first responders struggling with or in recovery from addiction or a substance use disorder. We also address how the present pandemic has changed the dynamic of recovery and substance abuse trends in this unprecedented time.

Navigating the Behavioral Health Care System for Fire Service Members

This webinar on Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. EST, helps fire service members better understand and navigate the complexities of the behavioral health care system. Presenters Molly Jones, LSW and Tina Casola, LMFT of First Alarm Wellness will discuss how to identify an acute emergency crisis in oneself and/or a peer, explore various levels of behavioral health care treatment and review the most common licenses and qualifications of behavioral health treatment providers.

Webinar attendees will be able to identify and use behavioral health treatment resources, as well as gain a greater understanding of what to expect when accessing and engaging in treatment. Speakers provide insight on behavioral health assessments, treatment planning and frequently used treatment modalities and best practice approaches for fire service clients.

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