Why We Do This
Your Local 3718 has determined that as an organization we want to offer our members mental, emotional and physical support. Our goals are to help facilitate a culture within the fire service that allows our members to make it safe to talk to one another and ask for help when it is needed. Additionally, peer support is a concept and practice that has been shown through IAFF’s research to be wanted by fire and emergency services membership. The peer support program is to prevent and/or lessen the potential negative impact of stress upon a member by providing emotional support, information and assistance when necessary.
Our peer support program will provide our members with mental and emotional support through one-on-one discussions, preincident education, spouse/significant other support, on-scene support and post-incident interaction. The team is comprised of members who have been specially trained in the power of conversation, verbal and non-verbal listening skills, how to communicate through understanding and validation, and some crisis intervention techniques. All Peer Support activities are completely voluntary and are meant to be used as a resource when needed.
Peer Support is not to be considered a substitute for therapeutic services as peer supporters are not trained as mental health professionals. Peer supporters do have access to and work in conjunction with Clinical Consultants who are licensed mental health professionals specially trained in working with the fire service.