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Protecting Mental Health of First Responders

As with other members of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the Safety, Health and Survival (SHS) Section mourns the tragic loss of life perpetrated in Uvalde, TX. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all the victims, the first responders who heroically responded to the scene, and the entire community.

As firefighters we are called to these horrific events to provide care and assistance to the victims as well as brother and sister first responders. The emotional and psychological toll exacted on responding public safety team members cannot be understated and must be acknowledged with concurrent action. Peer-support, as well as professional trauma and grief counselling for first responders with both out-patient and in-patient resources, if necessary, must be part of any post-incident care for our members.

Behavioral health resources are a vital component to the resiliency and sustainability of our members and our fire departments. Our ability to continue to provide assistance to our communities is predicated on how well we maintain the full-spectrum health of our first responders. SHSS stands ready to assist the first responders of Uvalde, TX, and any such tragedy, to identify and secure the necessary resources to support the long-term mental health of first responders across the US and Canada. The following links are just some of the resources available for you to address the mental health needs of your responders.

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