RIVERSIDE, CA—Phenix Technology, Inc. and Identifire Safety Products are teaming up with the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance (FBHA) to help address the critical need for fire and emergency medical services (EMS) behavioral health awareness. Firefighters and EMS personnel are engaged daily in traumatic situations causing career-related stress, which is leading to issues such as depression, PTSD, anxiety, addictions, relationship challenges, and suicide. FBHA was established to directly educate firefighters and EMS personnel and their families about these issues and help bridge the resource gap between medical professionals and first responder services.
FBHA provides behavioral health workshops to fire departments and EMS providers across the United States focusing on behavioral health awareness with a strong drive toward suicide prevention and promoting resources available to firefighters/EMS and their families. Specific behavioral health workshops include: An Internal Size-Up, which educates personnel on how to look for signs and symptoms of behavioral health problems, communication, confidentiality, and roles/responsibilities and Saving Those Who Save Others, a workshop focused on suicide prevention and awareness. Additional workshops are directed at spouses and partners and children of firefighters and EMS personnel. FBHA’s sole goal is to promote good mental health for the men and women of the fire service and EMS and their families, as well as making a significant difference in reducing the numbers of firefighters and EMTs who are turning to suicide to ease their pain.
“Most discussions around safety concern the gear and tactics of suppression and rescue. Unfortunately we often forget that a first responder’s safety concerns don’t just begin when the tones go off or when the units return to quarters. Our dialog has to start including the mental health of our brothers and sisters, and we are honored to work with Jeff Dill and his organization to help bring awareness to an often overlooked issue.” says Angel Sanchez, Jr., Phenix Technology, Inc.’s chief operating officer.
Phenix Technology, Inc. is creating a handmade Behavioral Health Awareness traditional leather fire helmet that will travel with the Phenix team during their 2017 Trade Show Schedule. The helmet will be used as a talking piece along with educational material that will be distributed at each show. At the conclusion of the 2017 season, the helmet will be auctioned off to raise funds for FBHA. Identifire Safety Products will be creating a special photoluminescent piece that will be available for sale with all profits going to support the FBHA mission. FBHA will produce a weekly educational piece that all three organizations will be sharing.
“Being on the job long enough, we will all be exposed to some form of PTSD. Whether it’s our own demons, or a brother orsister next to us. We have lost too many already. Time for a change,” says Matt Hyman, CEO of Identifire Safety Products.
FBHA Founder, Jeff Dill, a retired fire captain and licensed professional counselor, has this to say about the joint campaign: “We are honored and appreciative of the support from Phenix and Identifire. We look forward to continuing our mission of spreading behavioral health awareness and working to prevent the issues that in many cases are leading to firefighter and EMS personnel suicides.”