Suicide: Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention

     Statistics tell us that firefighters and law enforcement officers are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty.

     The Ohio Federation of Fire Chaplains is meeting this heartbreaking challenge head-on by offering “Suicide: Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention” on Monday and Tuesday, May 23 and 24, 2022.

     This two-day seminar from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation will provide you with basic information about suicide, as well as practical skills to help you to prevent suicide, intervene in life-threatening situations, and assist firefighters, law enforcement officers, their families, and the community in the aftermath of a suicide or attempted suicide.

     Our instructor is Chaplain Edgar Hatcher, Ed.D., a Board Certified Trauma Responder with more than 1,000 hours of specialized training and 1,000 hours of field experience.  He’s a retired Air Force chaplain and a pastor, and is active in the American Association of Suicidology.

     This class is geared for chaplains, clergy, and first responders and costs $180.  You’ll receive two days of instruction and discussion, a workbook, a certificate of completion from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, and donuts & coffee plus lunch and snacks on both days.  If your registration form and check (sorry, we can’t take credit cards or purchase orders) are postmarked by April 4, you can take a $25 discount!  All registration forms and checks (payable to “OFFC”) must be received no later than Monday, May 9, to allow for ordering and shipping of books and other materials.

     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 on Monday, May 23rd, is at 8:00 am, and the class both days is from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.

     The registration form is here.  You’ll need to print it out, fill it in (please print), and mail it.

     If you have any questions, call Chaplain David Williamson at 937-426-0973 or email


Online Training

We’re getting back together again.  Thank God!  But it’s still cold outside.  So what can you do to “improve your serve” while wearing a sweater and gloves?  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

The National Fallen Firefighter Foundation offers a free course, Stress First Aid.  It includes some valuable tips you can share with your firefighters.  Visit 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 2022
Annual Gathering and Training for Chaplains from the U.S. and Canada                 Atlanta,Georgia
Conference: October 14-20, 2022                                                    

More information can be found on FFC web page.