The Austin Fire Department’s Peer Support Team (PST) is a mechanism for employees and their families, providing support to personnel experiencing personal and/or work-related stress. It also offers help during and following critical or traumatic incidents resulting from performance of duty. AFD’s PST is part of the department’s comprehensive response to a critical incident. The team is comprised of members trained in peer support, and functions as an adjunct to the department’s psychologists. Our goal is to minimize the likelihood of traumatization to firefighters and their families. Interactions are confidential within the limits prescribed by department policy and state law.
We provide Austin Fire Department personnel, both sworn and civilian, with psychological and emotional support through pre-incident education; spousal/family support; on-scene assistance and demobilization intervention; post-incident discussions; and/or one-on-one interactions. PST members have received specialized training in crisis management techniques and work in conjunction with mental health professionals who focus on providing support to emergency services personnel.