While September is National Suicide Prevention Month, preventing suicide among the nation’s first responders is a year-round focus for CPSI.
The grant will allow CPSI to offer free trainings to fire departments in the southeastern and mid-western United States. Departments will receive the tools needed to host internal trainings about suicide warning signs, steps to help a co-worker in distress, guidelines to establish prevention and support programs, and policies to follow in cases of suicide.
For the past 10 years, CPSI has offered suicide prevention training for law enforcement; two years ago, its efforts expanded to include firefighters.
“We are proud our trainings have helped thousands of police officers around the country from St. Petersburg to San Diego, Columbus to Sandy Hook,” said Eileen LaHaie, Executive Director at the Center for Public Safety Innovation. “St. Petersburg College is committed to supporting both the personal and professional development needs of the men and women who keep our communities safe. We are grateful to FEMA for allowing us to expand these efforts and work with firefighters across the nation.”
“Trainings like this are valuable because we will be able to help firefighters learn the warning signs of suicide. If they know the symptoms, they may be able to assist a brother or sister who needs support,” said Deputy Fire Chief Trip Barrs of Dunedin Fire Rescue. “By educating our staff, we can remove the stigma many feel about asking for assistance.”
ABOUT CPSI: The Center for Public Safety Innovation is based at SPC’s Allstate Center and develops and delivers high quality training for emergency and first responders, military personnel, and the general public using state-of-the-art technology and best practices in education and training.