"It’s been a little over a year since we launched our Peer Support Team so we put together this short video to update you on what we’ve been doing. To those who have reached out, we’re so glad you did; it’s our honor to serve you as a Peer Support Team member. And to those who haven’t—or if you know someone who needs to—we’re here for you. It’s okay to ask for help!" -- AFD Peer Support Team
It is important that we put our mask on first before assisting others with their mask. Afterall, we can't fully be there for others if we can't be there for ourselves.
In the wake of some serious losses within the Fire family over the past month, it is important that we continue to take care of ourselves and each other. An awesome article is attached that defines self-care and discusses the importance of practicing self-care as a Firefighter.
Check out this informative article about the rates of PTSD in firefighters.
The article has several links to resources that will help with understanding the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and coping skills for PTSD.
Click here to read the article - PTSD Rates in Firefighters
“SUPPORTING OUR FIREFIGHTERS”
Resources to help yourself, a coworker, family member or friend.
Our mission is to provide Austin Fire Department Personnel, both sworn and non-sworn, psychological and emotional support through pre-incident education, spousal/family support, on-scene support and demobilization intervention, post-incident discussions or one-on-one interactions.
The Peer Support Team will be comprised of department members who have been specially trained in crisis management techniques and who work in conjunction with mental health professionals who specialize in providing support to emergency service personnel.
When first responders develop symptoms of depression or begin to struggle with addiction or thoughts of suicide, their first inclination is often just to “suck it up” and keep going. Their primary focus is helping others, so when they are the ones who need help, they may not feel there is anywhere for them to go.
Peer Support is a program consisting of members who are trained to identify various symptoms and challenges, and to aid their fellow brothers and sisters in public safety by providing emotional support in a time of need. In general, peer support are those individuals who have like experiences, can better relate, and consequently, offer greater empathy and validation.
The fire service is good at many things. When people dial 911, we respond rapidly, employ expert tactics that extinguish fires, rescue trapped occupants, and salvage personal belongings. We provide emergency medical care and, in some cases, ambulance transport for victims who are critically ill and injured. We are good at providing patient care. We are experts at bringing the emergency room procedures to the streets and living rooms of our communities. We are about serving those who are in need.
Grief can be defined as a deep sorrow, especially caused by someone’s death or the loss of someone or something. Grief can be experienced in a number of situations including the death of a loved one, the end of a marriage, breakups, ending of friendships, loss of property due to disaster, loss of personal items, and loss of personal integrity/physical violence or assault.