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Becoming Culturally Competent in the Fire Service

Presented by Steven F. Froehlich, Ph.D., LMFT, 2 CE Hours

Workshop Description

This session is designed for clinicians interested in becoming culturally competent with the special needs of firefighters and their families. The fire service is a unique culture based on a paramilitary structure. From mass casualty incidents to the pain of a child dying in their arms, firefighters face horrors that few outside the profession can imagine, which can take its toll on even the strongest individuals. National surveys suggest nearly one in three firefighters has considered suicide and face struggles with intimate relationships. Consequently, it is important that clinicians working with this population understand the unique culture and needs of firefighters and their families.

Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:
1. Explain fire service culture and its effect upon those exhibiting signs of post-traumatic stress.
2. Explain the impact of the “drill tower” and other training and its psychological effects on firefighters.
3. Define the difference between post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic stress disorder.
4. Explain the benefits of peer support and how it can provide the bridge between the fire service and the mental health community.
5. Describe how clinicians can maximize their effectiveness with fire service clients.