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In this enlightening episode of the Responder Resilience, we dive deep into the heart of mental health within the fire service, featuring a captivating dialogue with Acting Fire Chief David Motes of Clay County Fire Rescue (CCFR), Florida, and Marie Guma, the visionary founder of Command Counseling Center. Together, they shed light on the critical need and their collaborative efforts in establishing a groundbreaking mental health program specifically tailored for fire departments. This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in the intersection of emergency services and mental health support.

Our guests start by sharing the compelling observations in the fire service that ignited the initiative for a mental health program. They delve into the intricacies of how the CCFR/Command Counseling mental health services program operates, including how members can access these vital services and the mechanism for clinician notification and activation in the event of a critical incident, ensuring 24/7 coverage. The conversation provides a transparent look at the structure and execution of a program designed to be as accessible as it is effective.

Further enriching the discussion, Chief Motes and Ms. Guma address the feedback received from the department members, highlighting the importance of buy-in for the program's success. They also explore the diversity and cultural competence of the participating therapists, the various therapeutic approaches offered, and the logistics of in-station versus one-on-one sessions. Additionally, the episode covers the critical aspects of compliance, billing, insurance, and service tracking, concluding with an insightful analysis of how such a mental health initiative positively impacts recruitment and retention within the fire service. This episode celebrates the strides made towards prioritizing mental health in one of the most demanding professions.