First responders are there for us on our worst days. For this reason, the National First Responders Fund was founded on the idea of becoming a trusted source of resources and assistance dedicated to every first responder with a touch-point to emergency incidents. From the dispatcher to every man or woman that is called to the scene, we vow to be there for them on their worst day.
After responding to a tragic event or natural disaster, wether large-scale or to a single individual, a first responder could be severely affected by that call. The instinct of the average person is to be grateful, to say, thank you after someone helps them. Our priority is to be the "thank you" and to provide a vehicle and direct access to help first responders when they are affected by what bear witness to.
While our mission is broad, we are developing programs to address specific needs related to first responders and their families, including post traumatic stress treatment, chemical dependency and critical incident support, outreach and activation.
• WE'RE TAKING THE T.E.A.M. APPROACH TO ADDRESSING PTS •
Addressing Post Traumatic Stress is one of top our funding priorities. More than 25% of our first responders suffer in silence from injuries resulting exposure from traumatic events. The four primary categories of funding for our PTS program are:
Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) offsite;
Education and research identifying minimum standards for best practices in addressing post traumatic stressors;
Awareness and de-stigmatization to demystify PTS injuries;
Mobilization and outreach by Peer Support Teams related to specific events and tragedies.
• OUR THREE PHASE APPROACH TO FUNDING PTS •
Phase One: Emergency Relief
Our initial goal was to raise $100,000 that would go toward directly funding qualified Post Traumatic Stress programs for first responders in California. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! If you're a Peace officer (police, sheriff or other law enforcement officer), a dispatcher, and Emergency Medical Service provider (EMT, Paramedic, Emergency Room physician) or a firefighter in California, you qualify today for direct funding towards a qualified PTS program. Visit the 911 Community link to get started. We have have funds available today that will go to fund your first steps to getting help. The funding of PTS treatment programs is an ongoing goal and fundraising priority for the NFRF.
Phase Two: The Minimum Standard Plan
Our experts will identify best practices for inter-departmental programs to address the daily stressors of being a first responder. The NFRF will prioritize fundraising each year to grant funds for the implementation of those programs meeting our minimum standards.
Phase Three: The Peer Support Network
One element to the minimum standards will include a minimum ratio of Peer Support Team (PST) members to active untrained members in each department. These embedded PST members are active members of departments that have received the minimum standards training for response to traumatic incidents that occur during any particular shift. The NFRF will allocate a portion of its funding for grants to departments for the specific purpose of training active PST team members. Our goal is to scale a network of active PST team members at the local, state and national level that will be able to respond through mutual aid to mass casualties and critical incidents that have overcome local and regional capacity levels.