The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation seeks to sponsor a 2 day conference for approximately 50 representatives of major fire service constituency organizations to introduce the elements of its behavioral health initiative. One of the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives generated by its Everyone Goes Home(R) project, the elements to be introduced represent outcomes of more than three years of collaborative effort in which the nation's leading research and practitioner groups in areas related to occupational health and safety for fire and emergency medical services joined with leaders from six major industry organizations to create practical, accessible solutions for direct application by fire and EMS agencies and their behavioral health providers. Attendees will be introduced to a series of web-based programs developed to support consensus protocols for organizational response in atypically stressful occupational events, new models and standards for behavioral health assistance programs, and evidence supported models for effective peer involvement in supporting both individual and team resilience. The conference is proposed for January 2013 at the Sheraton Four Points adjacent to Baltimore Washington International Airport, site of the three consensus sessions that shaped the project and its components. The tentative structure provides first an overview of the process used to generate the models and then presents each component and the products created to facilitate its delivery at the local level. These include downloadable continuing education modules for agency-level implementation of After Acton Review and Curbside Manner components;web access to screening and assessment tools for behavioral health providers;web access to materials help fire and EMS agencies design RFPs and contracts for behavioral health assistance programs and to help potential vendors to design effective and affordable proposals;web access to an MUSC/NCVC training program in cognitive behavior therapy approaches to treating clinical conditions specifically created for clinicians serving fire and EMS agencies;and introduction of a "train the trainer" project to support regional dissemination of the NCPTSD Stress First Aid peer support model. Principal invitees will represent fire and EMS constituency organizations with active health and safety programs with the intent of generating a broad base of industry involvement in dissemination and adoption of FLSI 13.
Fire and emergency medical services providers hold positions in which occupational exposure to potentially traumatic events interact with high demand and expectations to yield a well-documented risk with respect to sequelae such as PTSD and depression;programs initially implemented in these settings have become ubiquitous throughout occupational behavioral health. These approaches, while widely adopted in and dominant across a range of workplace applications, have shown no substantive efficacy in controlled empirical research and have been reported as holding significant potential for paradoxical impacts on natural recovery in some recipients. This project has created consensus approaches for organizational intervention and support, and has created accessible public domain solutions to allow organizations and their behavioral health providers to adopt and implement its components no little or no cost;these solutions will be introduced and disseminated through the proposed conference.