On Valentine’s Day, we rolled out our new one-day “Introduction to Peer Support Program” to the men and women of the Murrell’s Inlet Garden City Fire Department.

This program is designed to train firefighters, EMS personnel, and 911 telecommunicators in the basic concepts of peer support. The one-day class gives the department some flexibility in providing behavioral health training to personnel while they are on duty therefore reducing the need for overtime. This program will be followed by quarterly classes offering additional subjects as in-service training and will allow departments to keep behavioral health information in their normal training schedules.

We were encouraged by the new approach as seventeen members of the department participated in the training. We will be back there for the next two Thursdays to cover the other shifts. As with any new program, we will tweak it a little, but we are already looking forward to the next classes.

We were pleased to have six of our Team instructors, Mike Medeiros, Gerald Mishoe, Doug Farmer, Michelle Brown, David Reindollar, and Lee Hopkins there today to be a part of the class.

Special thanks to Chief Norman Knight and our MIGCFD friends for giving us the forum we needed to bring this training to life!