Taking Care of Our Own

     The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Ohio Federation of Fire Chaplains are teaming up to bring us this training program to help fire chiefs and chaplains prepare for the worst: a line-of-duty death or serious injury. Developed by fire service personnel and families who have lost a firefighter in the line of duty, the class covers pre-incident planning, survivor notification, family and co-worker support, and benefits and resources available to the families.  You’ll go home with specific ideas, practical information, real-world insights, and valuable materials.          

     Instructors for this class are Retired Chief Ron Blackwell, who served several fire departments in Maryland and Kansas; Angie Moreland, Ph.D., director of the Center for Firefighter Behavioral Health; Cathy Hedrick, mother of a fallen firefighter; and Ian Bennett, coordinator of the national Local Assistance State Team program for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

     This one-day seminar for chiefs and chaplains is FREE, and includes lunch.

     The class will be held at Hawker United Church of Christ, 1617 North Longview Street (just a block north of Dayton Xenia Road) in Beavercreek. Dress is casual. Registration is at 8:30 am, and the class is from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

     No paperwork to slow you down!  Register today at tinyurl.com/TCOOO

     If you have any questions, call Chaplain David Williamson at 937-426-0973 or email DWilliamson@FireChap.net.


Online Training

We’re getting back together again.  Thank God!  But it’s summer, and you’re relaxing in your backyard (your screened-in porch.  What can you do to “improve your serve” while wearing shorts and flip-flops?  Here are a few online ideas.

FEMA NIMS courses 100, 200, 700, & 800 are all free!  They offer a great introduction to the incident command and incident management systems which your fire department, and the fire departments (and other emergency response agencies) in neighboring communities use.  Each of these courses will take about three hours to complete . See the latest course listings at http://training.fema.gov/IS/NIMS.asp.

The National Fallen Firefighter Foundation offers a free course, Stress First Aid.  It includes some valuable tips you can share with your firefighters.  Visit firehero.org for the info.

How about a free class in how to do death notifications with compassion?  You can use this as a fire chaplain, as a pastor or rabbi or imam, and as a family member or neighbor.  Click here for “We Regret to Inform You …” from the FBI and Penn State University.

Looking for a Psychological First Aid course?  Here’s one that’s free, and comes with a printable certificate to add to your training folder.

If you’d like something that’s a little more focused on what you, as a chaplain, will do on scene, your best bet is Comprehensive Acute Traumatic Stress Management.  You can get the book here.  Don’t skim it — read it thoroughly, and you’ll be equipped to handle emotional crises in the real world.  If you want to be certified and receive a really impressive certificate, you can take an open-book, open-notes test in the back of the book, and send in your answer sheet and your check (naturally) to the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress.

Have you taken “Assisting Individuals in Crisis” and “Group Crisis Intervention” from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF) yet?  The ICISF also has other great courses online.  (Personally, your friendly neighborhood OFFC Training Officer recommends the Live Trainings over the Online Courses.)  Look here for the calendar and links.


Federation of Fire Chaplains Annual Conference 2021
Annual Gathering and Training for Chaplains from the U.S. and Canada                 Fort Worth, Texas
Conference: October 23-28, 2021                                                     

More information can be found on FFC web page.