[Recommended]Fsmt281 Psychological Support and Public Education

Since there are 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives and only eight weeks of class, we are going to discuss two initiatives per week in the…

Since there are 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives and only eight weeks of class, we are going to discuss two initiatives per week in the forums.  
Along with the required weekly readings, you should be using the website Everyone Goes Home.  The website is an excellent source of information, for you, that is devoted to the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives.  When using the Everyone Goes Home website, be sure to look at each of the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives sections.  Also, be sure to click on the Resources section of that website as it contains downloadable text and video resources that will provide you with additional information to answer the forum questions.
 
Initiative 13 – Psychological Support
 
It has been said that an organization is defined by the people who make it up.  The push for improving our health and wellness is evidence of this ideology.  The Fire and Life safety Initiatives also recognize its importance and have appropriately devoted both an initiative to address responders’ physical health (Initiative 6) and a separate initiative to their emotional health (Initiative 13).   The 13th Initiative suggests that all firefighters and EMS personnel must have the resources to deal with the complications that their jobs can bring to their lives, especially issues regarding emotional and psychological stress.
 
After reading the required weekly readings, and reviewing the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives section regarding Psychological Support on the website Everyone Goes Home, write a post that achieves the following:
 
1. Please read the case study below and answer the following questions:
 
Case Study:  It’s now been several months since the house fire in which you and your lieutenant rescued two fire victims.  At the time, your department had no access to any type of counseling or psychological support, but now is considering building a comprehensive program.  Because your involvement in the last potentially traumatic event, the fire chief has asked you and your lieutenant to put together some ideas on what type of program would be beneficial.
 
     A. What types of emergencies might dictate the activation of your new program?
 
     B. Should participation be mandatory for all emergency responders who were present?
 
     C. What types of programs are available for you to adopt?
 
Initiative 14 – Public Education
 
In the past several years, many fire departments began to refer to their public education programs as fire and life safety education.  Fire and life safety education is an effective means for establishing fire-safe behavior among the people.  Where does this help in firefighter safety?  People that are educated on fire safety can help reduce the number of fires we respond to, which can then contribute significantly to reducing firefighter deaths.  The 14th Initiative asks us to rethink our priorities in the fire service – to recognize the central and enduring value of public education and to raise fire prevention to the level of other department operations.
 
After reading the required weekly readings, and reviewing the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives section regarding Public Education on the website Everyone Goes Home, write a post that achieves the following:
 
1. Please read the case study below and answer the following questions:
Case Study:  As Fire Prevention Week approaches, your lieutenant asks for your suggestions in creating a fire safety education program for the elementary school.  For the past several years, your firehouse has put on a 1-hour presentation in the gymnasium for teachers and children.
     A. What kind of lessons would be most important to share with them?      B. How should they be presented to be most effective?      C. Are there any resources out there to help guide your lesson plan?
 
 
 
#1
 
 
 
Initiative 13
 
 
 
Emergencies of all sorts can be traumatic to the responders involved. Any incident involving seriously harmed children, or where children have died, should incur a mandatory initial counseling. People with children should be required to have a second counseling at a later date( maybe two weeks). 
 
 
 
There was an incident where we worked a 5 month old, who was in the same clothes my youngest child wore, and to this day is one of the few incidents that has had any lasting negative impression on me. Outside of this, as a “buddy watch” sort of program, mandatory counselings could be recommended by crew members if they notice any impact from an incident. 
 
 
 
Lastly, any incident where there was a “firefighter close call” or worse, everyone involved should have an initial counseling.
 
 
 
If an incident negatively impacted one crew member, it is likely that other crew members were affected, even if not to same degree. In these instances, the whole crew should have to at least have an initial counseling.
 
 
 
You can adopt programs like the “Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance” or work with programs like National behavioral Health Alliance, or even established veteran programs to help develop a new targeted program.
 
 
 
Initiative 14
 
 
 
With Elementary schools, It is important to talk about emergency escape plans. What the best practices are in fires. How to stop, drop, and roll. How to get low, and crawl. Depending on the age of the elementary students, maybe do a demonstration of what a firefighter in full gear looks like, so they won’t be scared if they see us in a fire. Talk about making a fire escape plan with the parents.
 
 
 
These might be best presented in smaller groups, with hands on activities and demonstration.
 
 
 
Programs have already been outlined by NFPA, FEMA, FIRE RESCUE, and likely your own department. These can be used to supplement or guide your local program.
 
 
 
#2
 
 
 
Initiative 13 – Psychological Support      A. What types of emergencies might dictate the activation of your new program? The program should be available at all times for any type of call. Anyone could be triggered by any type of call and need assistance. An easy example would be calls involving death and trauma with children often bother parents more than firefighters without children. A less common but equally important situation could be something on what is perceived to be a normal call could trigger a much deeper emotional response reminding them of something from another call or something in there homelife. Sometimes its both. I was on a call a few years ago for a 2-year-old who drowned in a backyard wading pool, while at the same times my kids were at the beach on vacation with there mother.       B. Should participation be mandatory for all emergency responders who were present? I think these programs should be mandatory. I don’t think it helps if the person doesn’t want to be there, but a lot of people won’t ask for help or go because others are not going. If they take part in the program may take advantage of what it’s offering and get more help if they need it. Even if the person does not want help providing them with resources to get help later is better than nothing.       C. What types of programs are available for you to adopt? The most widely adopted program is Critical Incident Stress Debriefing. (Initiative 13) Other programs such as Stress First Aid, Alcoholics Anonymous or substance abuse support programs area also available and helpful. 
 
 
 
Initiative 14 – Public Education      A. What kind of lessons would be most important to share with them? It should be based on the age of the children, but it should be expanded and increased as the children get older. Talks of “get out and stay out,” staying low in smoke, don’t play with matches and what do to when a smoke detector goes off for the younger children. As they get older talks of Fire Codes and why they exist, talks of fire exits and impeding egress points to let them know why rules are in place. (Bryne 2009)        B. How should they be presented to be most effective? The city of Beaufort South Carolina developed a program called First Impressions – Lasting Impressions. By starting at an early age but also by tailoring the classes to coincide with the student’s studies as they grow. The theory is that by offering a high-quality program even if it’s to a small group of 20 students the information could reach hundreds as the information is passed along. (Bryne 2009)        C. Are there any resources out there to help guide your lesson plan? The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, NFPA the National Fire Academy and lots of others such as smoke detector manufacturers have resources available free from their websites. 
 
 
Byrne, D. (2009, 03). Public fire education & training: Making a difference.Firehouse, 34, 72-75. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy1.apus.edu/docview/229591395?accountid=8289
 
Initiative 13. National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, 2007, www.firstrespondercenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Initiative13.pdf.
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