In our responses, we encounter difficult times for departments that have experienced a line-of-duty death or a tragic event in their organizations or communities. Emphasis is placed on the personnel that were present at the call or were affected by the aftermath, but we focus on supporting all personnel. Our mission is to provide care for all who have experienced the loss or the effects the tragedy. Follow-up care, weeks or even months after the initial contact, is equally important and cannot be forgotten as we hope to help folks process the event.
During those types of responses, there is much activity, and sometimes scrutiny, that comes for the leadership of the department. Making appropriate decisions concerning funeral arrangements and taking care of the wishes of the family, news media inquiries, OSHA, answering to the political leadership in the community, seeing that other members of the department are taken care are all difficult duties when a Chief is grieving the loss personally. He or she will many times be reluctant to ask for help feeling an obligation to be strong for their personnel.
So, then the question arises, “Who takes care of the Chief?”. Understanding those issues for him or her is paramount to helping a department and its’ leader, get through a life changing event. We have compassionate Chief officers in our State and on our team, who have experienced losses in their own departments and have “walked the walk”. These Chiefs make themselves available to respond to the needs of their fellow Chiefs, to stay with them, to counsel them, and to lend their first-hand experience in the truest sense of providing peer-to-peer support.
Our leaders need to know that their behavioral and physical health is of great importance to us. Let us help you. Please let us know if you need support. Our number is (843) 609-8300. We will have a Chief peer member contact you.