Steve Fraser is an Acting Captain of Mental Health and Wellness for Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services (VF&RS) and the coordinator for VF&RS critical incident stress management team. With over 20 years of experience in the fire service, he has taken his knowledge and expertise in the field and applied it to firefighter-specific programs, training, and education. Steve is the co-author of the Resilient Minds program of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Vancouver Fraser Branch. Steve is also an approved instructor for the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation and a certified Field Traumatologist with the Canadian Traumatology Institute. In 2017, Steve was the recipient of the Firefighter of the Year award for Vancouver Fire and Rescue Service. In addition to his work with VF&RS, Steve also sits on the BCPFFA Mental Health task force and is involved with nationwide research groups, collaborating with the University of Regina, Western University, McMasters University and Firewell, a health and wellness community for firefighters.
Session: Case Study - Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services
Description: In 2016, Vancouver Fire and Rescue (VF&RS) recognized the need for trauma-based resiliency training for firefighters. After an extensive search of available courses, team members from VF&RS decided to partner with the local chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association to develop the Resilient Minds program. This program engages and informs first responders in three crucial areas relevant to their work: trauma, mental health problems and building resiliency. Resilient Minds is based on CMHA’s ‘4R Action Toolkit’ to build skills needed to assist colleagues, family, or members of the public who may be struggling with a mental health problem or be in crisis. In this session we will provide an overview of the program, including a discussion of the rollout strategy used by VF&RS, and take a look at the final results, which were compiled by Abor Educational, an external evaluation and consulting agency.