Find Out How The NVFC Supports First Responders

Find Out How The NVFC Supports First Responders

Resources and Support for First Responders

NPPGov strives to support those who support us in our most vulnerable and greatest times of need. We work with many public safety organizations around the country, and we see the increasing challenges they face each year.

Additionally, the essential workers that make up these organizations like firefighters, EMTs, rescue workers and more face daily pressures that can have a lasting impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

According to some estimates, 30 percent of first responders develop behavioral health conditions such as depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorder. 

This article will discuss some strategies that first responders and public safety organizations can use to handle stress and find ways to bring their best selves to the jobs they care so deeply about. 

How to Support the Mental Health and Wellbeing of First Responders 

Fight the stigma around mental health conditions

One of the biggest barriers to seeking help for mental health issues is the stigma that surrounds them. Many first responders may feel ashamed, embarrassed, or weak for admitting that they are struggling. They may also fear negative consequences at work, such as losing their job, being demoted, or being ostracized by their peers. To overcome this stigma, we need to create a culture of openness, acceptance, and compassion in our workplaces. We need to encourage first responders to talk about their mental health, share their experiences, and seek help when they need it. We also need to educate ourselves and others about the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions, and how to access the available resources and services.

Provide prevention and intervention programs 

Another way to support the mental health and wellbeing of first responders is to provide them with prevention and intervention programs that can help them cope with stress, trauma, and burnout. These programs can include: 

  • Training on stress management, resilience, and self-care techniques 

  • Peer support groups and mentoring programs 

  • Critical incident stress debriefing and counseling 

  • Employee assistance programs and referrals to mental health professionals 

  • Wellness initiatives such as physical fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness activities 

These programs can help first responders to recognize and manage their stress, enhance their coping skills, and prevent or reduce the severity of mental health conditions. 

Partner with organizations that offer specialized support and resources 

Finally, we can support the mental health and wellbeing of first responders by partnering with organizations that offer specialized support and resources for them. One such organization is the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), which is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. NPPGov, the leader in cooperative purchasing, has a partnership with the NVFC to provide volunteer firefighters, EMS providers, and rescue workers with the resources they need when they need it. Through this partnership, NPPGov members can access discounts on products and services that can enhance their safety, health, and performance. Some of the benefits include: 

  • Free online training courses on topics such as behavioral health, cancer prevention and leadership development 

  • Free access to the Firefighter Strong program, which offers confidential, professional and 24/7 counseling services for first responders and their families 

  • Discounts on personal protective equipment, fitness equipment, health screenings and insurance products 

By partnering with the NVFC, NPPGov members can show their appreciation and support for the first responders who serve their communities.  

The mental health and wellbeing of first responders is a vital issue that affects not only them, but also their families, colleagues, and communities. By fighting the stigma, providing prevention and intervention programs, and partnering with organizations that offer specialized support and resources, we can help our first responders to stay mentally and emotionally strong, and to continue to do their heroic work. 

Questions about NPPGov’s cooperative contracts? Email or call 877-329-8847.

Join NPPGov today to start saving time and money on public procurement.