This is the second part of the keynote speech that Chief Ali delivered to the 13th Graduating Class of the Wake County (N.C.) Fire Academy.Read More »
Author Archives: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer
What I said to a graduating class of firefighters
Battalion Chief Dena Ali recently had the distinct honor of delivering a keynote to the 13th Graduating Class of the Wake County (N.C.) Fire Academy. This is the first of two parts of her remarks to the graduating firefighters.Read More »
Emotional Hygiene: What you don’t know
Why do we pay so much attention to our physical health yet almost ignore our emotional health? Check out this post to learn why and how to fix that.Read More »
Donate to Help Make the 6th Annual Conference of the Fire Service Psychology Association a Success!
You can help support the 6th Annual Conference of the Fire Service Psychological Association with your tax-deductible donation. Help support improving mental health services for firefighters!Read More »
Eight Steps for Creating an Atmosphere of Psychological Safety in Your Fire Department
Psychological safety is the belief that you won’t be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes. At work, it’s a shared expectation held by members of a team that teammates will not embarrass, reject, or punish them for sharing ideas, taking risks, or soliciting feedbackRead More »
Firefighter Suicide: We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know
We must do better in understanding what causes a firefighter to take their own life, and one place we need to start is by gaining a true picture of what leads a firefighter to take their own life. We can only gain that true picture by conducting research in the form of psychological autopsies, that is, using the proven tools and methodologies of psychology.Read More »
Be a Part of the 6th Annual Fire Service Psychological Association Conference!
At the Fire Service Psychology Association (FSPA) we're working to "bridge the gap between professional psychology and the fire service." What is that gap? Good question, and here's the answer.Read More »
Do firefighters write policies and procedures in your fire department?
Why haven't the IAFF and IAFC included professional psychologists who are trained and experienced in police and public safety psychology in developing mental health and wellness standards for the fire service?Read More »
Why is sexism and misogyny still a problem for the fire service? It’s almost 2023!
I posted the following reply to this COURAGEOUS firefighter in the UK who continues to "shine a light" on the sexism and misogyny that apparently "alive and well" in the London Fire Brigade and other fire brigades in the UK. Antonia, do whatever you must do but PLEASE do not let the ba$tards prevail by taking your own life! I hope that the supportive comments in this space are helping you to keep your "head above water!" But it's not solely a problem in the fire service culture in the UK. Sexism and misogyny are both "alive and well" in too many fire departments around the globe, including the U.S. and Canada.Read More »
How to declare and respond to an off-duty mayday
The driving force behind the Firefighter Health and Wellness Conference is Brothers Helping Brothers (BHB), a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, founded in 2014. Since its launch, BHB has given out 14 grants to advance its mission of “Helping Small and Rural America, One Fire Department at a Time,” to fire departments in Ohio and surrounding states. The genesis for the conference, according to Nick Magoteaux, founder and co-director of BHB, came in early 2018: “I was doing a fire EMS conference then, and I saw that there was a lot of interest in firefighter cancer. But not much on mental health. So, I got to thinking that mental health was a topic that needed attention.”Read More »