First Responder Peer Support Team
The purpose of this team is to aid an officer/ fire/emt during times of both professional and personal crisis through the use of specially-trained volunteer officers. A first responder may be more likely to seek help through one of their peers than someone outside of the uniform. The degree of support a volunteer peer provides can vary — even a simple pat on the back or taking an officer out to eat can be enough in some cases to keep them in the fight. When necessary, the trained volunteer can help their fellow first responder connect with the person they feel is most likely to help them — such as a chaplain or a counselor.
The program is not meant to be in competition with other avenues of treatment — instead, it should be viewed as complementary. It’s making that initial connection — even if it results in a referral — that’s a vital component of being a peer support volunteer. Peers stay connected with their fellow officers for as long as they both find it beneficial.
This team is creating an environment built around prevention, intervention and breaking the negative stigma commonly associated with discussing personal mental health topics in the first responder community. This team is an essential stress management team focused on maintaining health and wellness in first responders.
The primary role for peers as part of this team will be to be available if another first responder reaches out. The type of support provided can range from one meeting, several meetings, or assistance in accessing clinical treatment. Read more about First Responder Peer Teams here.
Find a peer team member on the team list.
When is it appropriate to contact a Peer?
Sometimes difficult situations arise with a spouse or significant other, a child, or aging parents. Sometimes it is a co-worker, a supervisor, subordinate, promotion or even retirement. Sometimes it is a on-going feeling of tiredness, feeling overwhelmed, not being present in daily life, and/or feeling isolated and alone.
Critical Incident Stress Management Team (CISM)
The secondary role of the trained first responder peer support team will be to reach out to first responders if a critical incident has happened. These connections may happen through referrals from the Clermont County Crisis Response Team, the supervisors at departments or if someone reaches out on their own.
Specialized training for Peer Support
All volunteer peer first responders receive a two-day training provided for free through the FOP of Ohio Foundation. The International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF) provides the training and the materials for the two day training. Once first responders are selected and trained to be a Peer Support Team member, they also receive on-going education and training through the ICISF. Some Peer Supporters may have an area of expertise that they can share with the community.
Interested in joining this Peer Team?
First Responder Peer Support Team members are current or retired public safety personnel or 911 communications operators. Training is held twice a year. If you are interested in joining this team, please complete this application and return it to Amy Foley. If you would like more information about the team, please email Amy Foley at: firstname.lastname@example.org or cell: 513-607-9290.
Members of the Peer Support Team are from these agencies.
FIRST RESPONDER PEER SUPPORT TEAM
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