This month our Executive Director was invited to develop and present two programs for upper level Fire Command members to support the health and well-being of Fire personnel. The two presentations entitled, “Substance Use/Abuse in Public Safety: What Can I Do About This?” and “Public Safety Suicide: What Every Fire Officer Should Know” were given on March 3 at the FCAM Professional Development Conference in Worcester, MA. Attendees consisted of representatives of the Fire Services from across the State.
The topics of substance abuse and suicide are ever present within the ranks of public safety. Historically, they have been the quiet secret that is known to exist but few talk about. In recent years we have seen a shift in moving these topics from the shadows to the forefront where they can be addressed within the agencies.
Recognition needs to go to the FCAM leadership who requested that presentations be given on these topics to bring a heightened awareness of the problems and to inform the attendees of steps they can take and resources they can access to help members with these challenges.
It is a great honor to have been asked to develop and give these seminars. Our Fire Service community is called upon to do extraordinary work during the course of their careers. Being able to support them and all first responder agencies in their efforts by providing resources to enhance the health and well-being of our uniformed personnel is a priority mission here at NPSS.