Community Education for Fire Fighters & First Responders

The IAFF Center of Excellence is committed to raising awareness and providing education about behavioral health matters that impact fire fighters, paramedics and dispatchers across the United States and Canada. Our community education webinar series is designed to engage and inform fire service members and treatment professionals alike on unique topics that impact this population. Please join us for an upcoming training to learn more.

Upcoming Events

Treating Fire Service Professionals: Building Cultural Competency
The purpose of this training is to help clinicians, treatment providers and other community partners develop cultural competency in the fire service and first responder professions as to be best equipped to provide effective behavioral health services to fire fighters, paramedics, law enforcement officers 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.
Oct 6
Impacts of Military Service on First Responder Behavioral Health
This training will highlight the convergence of veterans in the first responder community and the impact on behavioral health. Many first responders have previous military backgrounds and can even be considered preferred hires among municipal employers. While this experience can be very beneficial to the new responder, potential past exposure to trauma may also pose future challenges. This traning is intended to explore the ways in which a previous military career is a protective and risk factor for various behavioral health challenges among those in other first responder professions. Molly Jones, LSW will be joined by IAFF Center of Excellence Executive Director and U.S. Army veteran, Marc Rattigan, and Rt. Marine Sergeant/Infantry Squad Leader and Somerville, MA fire fighter, Mike Jefferson to share their insight.
Oct 27
Gambling Addiction-Exploring Prevalence Among First Responders
First responders work in high stress environments, which may contribute to the increased risk for mental health or substance use problems among this population. Gambling is an addictive behavior and has important parallels with alcohol, substances, and other mental health disorders such as PTSD and depressive disorders. Problematic gambling includes a range of clinically significant impairment to subclinical problems described as low or moderate risk, which are less severe, but nonetheless reflect a maladaptive way of coping with stress. This webinar will address the special needs and risk factors among first responders around problem gambling.
Nov 9
Addressing Compassion Fatigue & Burnout in the Fire Service
Nov 17

Approved Continuing Education Provider

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IAFF Center of Excellence has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No.7114. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. IAFF Center of Excellence is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Featured Speakers

All webinars are led by IAFF Center of Excellence staff, IAFF Clinicians or Local members or clinicians specialized in the treatment of fire fire fighters, first responders and paramedics.

Abby Morris Circle Headshot
Abby Morris, MD

Medical Director at the IAFF Center of Excellence

Molly Jones Circle Headshot
Molly Jones, LSW

Clinical Coordinator for the IAFF Center of Excellence

Lauren Kosc Circle Headshot
Lauren Kosc, CCTP, LCPC

Behavioral Health Specialist
International Association of Fire Fighters

Featured Webinar

Behavioral Health Among Fire Fighters and Paramedics: Treating Occupational Needs
Presented By:

Abby Morris, MD, a board-certified psychiatrist and medical director at the IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery. This webinar will introduce attendees to the unique needs of fire service members seeking behavioral healthcare. This presentation is ideal for medical and clinical professionals seeking to treat or currently treating fire service members and IAFF members, fire service leadership, peer support team members, chaplains, spouses and other individuals in a capacity to support first responders in treatment and recovery.

View Past 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

Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder & Best Practices for Supporting Members

Led by Molly Jonesm LSW on May 18, 2022

Trauma in the Fire Service

Led by Lauren Kosc, MA, LCPC & Molly Jones, LSW on July 29, 2021

Trauma in the Fire Service

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

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

Led by Molly Jones, LSW on September 23, 2021

Understanding PTSD & Best Practices for Treatment

Led by Molly Jones, LSW on August 18,2022

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

Post Traumatic Growth for Fire Service Members

Led by Molly Jones, LSW on June 24, 2021

Mindful Decontamination

Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Kathy Sullivan on March 24, 2021

Exploring the Intersection of Trauma and Addiction

Led by Molly Jones, LSW on April 19, 2022

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

Behavioral Health and Available Resources

Led by Molly Jones, LCSW on December 4, 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

Suicide in the Fire Service

Led by Molly Jones, LSW on July 15, 2021

Equine Therapy for the Fire Service

Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Nicole Kurtz, owner of The Healing Farm on August 12, 2021

Stress Continuum Model

Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Ben O’Brien, Local 2086 on September 30, 2021

Managing Holiday Stress for First Responders

Led by Molly Jones, LSW on November 18, 2021

Behavioral Health 101 for First Responders

Led by Molly Jones, LSW on January 6, 2022

Addressing Behavioral Health in the Fire Service

Led by Molly Jones, LSW on March 15, 2022

Practicing Mindfulness in the Fire Service

Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Dr. Zachary Isoma, PsyD on May 24, 2022

Cognitive Distortions Among First Responders

Led by Molly Jones, LSW on July 14, 2022

Manage Stress, Practice Mindfulness & Attain Work-Life Balance

Led by Molly Jones, LSW on September 8, 2022

Peer Support and the Stages of Change

Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Jeff Gauthier, Local 215 Milwaukee, WI on July 7, 2022

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

Approaching a Member in Need: Peer Support in Action

Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Jeff Campbell, IAFF Master Peer Support Instructor and Local 1660 Tualatin Valley Member on June 17, 2020

Training for Peers Conflict Resolution & Intervention

Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Scott Ross, Local 1014 Los Angeles County on December 2, 2021

Spirituality and Chaplaincy for First Responders

Led by Molly Jones, LSW and Rich Robinson on February 3, 2022

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

First Responder Presentation in Treatment: Understanding Responder Differences

Led by Molly Jones, LSW and Andrea Watts on January 20, 2022

Treating Fire Service Professionals: Building Cultural Competency

Led by Molly Jones, LSW on March 3, 2022

Exploring Fire Service Behavioral Health

Led by Molly Jones, LSW and Aderemi Benson, LCPC, C-EMDRT, C-DBT on September 22, 2022 

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

Resiliency in the Fire Service

Led by Molly Jones, LSW, Scott Robinson & Lauren Kosc, LCPC on February 24, 2022

Women in the Fire Service

Led by Molly Jones, LSW, Theresa Snow and Isabel Ruediger of Local 1271 Surrey, BC & Dena Ali of Local 548 Raleigh, NC on June 30, 2022

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

Collaboration in Behavioral Health: Labor & Management

Led by Molly Jones, LSW, Bill Crews, Local 1293 Garland President & Alexander Hamilton, Oxnard Fire Chief on August 18, 2021

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

Supporting Fire Fighter Families

Led by Molly Jones, LSW and Alison Fienning, LISW-S, CCTP on June 9, 2022