Welcome to the National Volunteer Fire Council report.
NVFC Launches Online Tool to Connect Responders with Mental Health Professionals.
This searchable directory of behavioral health professionals is ready and able to help firefighters, EMS providers, rescue workers, and their families. It provides a wide range of criteria, including location, areas of expertise, whether the provider is licensed, whether insurance is accepted, and whether the provider offers telehealth. This new tool replaces the previous PDF directory of NVFC and will make it easier for responders and their families to find the assistance they need.
Emergency responders face unique challenges that can have a significant impact on their mental well-being, and they must have access to providers who understand this. The providers listed in this directory are behavioral health professionals vetted by the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance (FBHA) who either have firsthand experience with the fire and emergency services or have completed a training course through the FBHA to educate them on the fire service and the specific challenges they face. In addition to licensed healthcare professionals, there are other resources for assistance such as chaplains and peer support specialists.
Keep in mind this new website was just launched. They are actively vetting and adding to the provider database. At the time of launch, there were just 4 providers for Missouri but expected (planned) to grow in 2024. To access the new online directory of behavioral health professionals, go to nvfc.org/provider-directory. The directory itself is a free resource but from there, it’s between the caller, provider, and insurance to work out fees.
Separately, NVFC offers a FREE Helpline for NVFC Members where they can receive up to 5 free counseling sessions. They will also work with the caller to identify a local provider who can work with them. NVFC members also have access to the First Responder Helpline in a crisis moment and for assistance with a variety of behavioral health issues and work-life stresses. This includes counseling sessions, resources, and referrals for a variety of issues such as stress management, depression, family conflict, financial or legal concerns, substance misuse, child or elder care, and more. Learn more at nvfc.org/helpline.
If you are not an NVFC Member and want more information on the many other benefits or ready to complete the process for just $21 per year, go to nvfc.org/join-nvfc.
As you have likely heard, NERIS is progressing rapidly and is expected to launch in the fall of 2024, ultimately replacing NFIRS. It is important to make a concerted effort to share information about this pending change with the fire serving in the coming months and well before the launch, nobody likes that kind of surprise! The latest informational webinar is at fsri.org/program-update/demand-access-neris-draft-data-framework-webinar.
UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI) is working on the buildout of NERIS and will continue holding webinars updating the fire service on the status and what is coming. If interested, there is a recorded webinar at fsri.org/programs/neris.
New Resources & Training
We have some great new resources and training to share:
Reducing fireground risks
After the fire incident
Virtual Classroom Course
Collaborative Programs: Pipeline Safety and Response (virtualclassroom.nvfc.org/products/collaborative-programs-pipeline-safety-and-response).
Some great news, NVFC membership continues to grow and achieving this very rapidly having reached 33,356 members. NVFC also submitted feedback to FEMA calling for the simplification of AFG and SAFER applications.
NVFC 2024 Fall Meeting Assistance Committee myself, Rob Erdel, Grant Oetting, and Josh Koepke with room for one more. The 2024 fall meeting is taking place September 18-20 at the Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza, 4445 Main St.
Thank you for your time and for allowing us to serve on your behalf with the NVFC.