Greg is a 20 year Vancouver firefighter who understands first-hand the special psychological risks that firefighters face. He is a lieutenant and acting captain of the fire suppression division at Fire Hall No. 15 in Vancouver. Greg is also the Vice President of Benefits, Illness and Injury for the International Association of Firefighters Local 18, where he advises members of their rights concerning medical leaves and return to work (RTW) programs. This role has given him a robust understanding of the complexities of managing the mental health needs of firefighters.
Greg's own RTW addressed some organizational and system barriers that exist for many firefighters in BC. His willingness to share his personal experience has helped many firefighters find the courage to ask for help and inspired employers to view return to work differently.
In his free time, Greg enjoys sports and spending time with his wife, two sons and their new dog Suzie.
Session - Building Resilience through Return to Work
Description: Research shows that the earlier an injured worker returns to work (RTW), the better their chance of a full recovery; and that collaboration between the worker, employer, and treatment team is crucial for success. In a co-presentation with Diana Vissers, a professional consultant in disability management, Greg will share his story of leaving work to recover from trauma-related mental injury and subsequently coordinating his own RTW in a very creative way, pushing his organization beyond its comfort zone. Diana will speak to the benefits of early intervention, while the both will address some of the obstacles often present in the complex firefighter environment. This joint presentation will provide insights and practical solutions from the perspectives of both a worker and a RTW professional.