Fire Services Peer Support & Wellness Resources
The City of Toronto and Toronto Fire Services (TFS) are committed to promoting mental and physical health and well-being for all staff. This page provides information on some of the resources available to TFS employees and their families
The Peer Support Team is staffed by a volunteer committee of active and retired TFS employees and offers peer counselling and referral consulting. They address physical, emotional, financial, legal and spiritual concerns at the request of an individual.
Call 416-338-9327 – 24/7.
- This service is available to all members of Toronto Fire Fighters’ Local 3888 and their families.
- As firefighters, the referral consultants understand the unique strains and pressures that come with the job, and how they affect family and loved ones.
- There is no charge for the service. In most cases, union-negotiated health benefits defray the costs associated with referral to professional services. If the recommended treatment or assistance is not covered by the health care plan, every effort is made to secure an affordable alternative.
- The referral consultant will listen to you and recommend an agency or specialist that can help with your problem. All interviews, referrals and follow-up sessions are absolutely confidential.
- You are not required to take the referral consultant’s advice. But if you do, they will offer to follow your progress; you can count on their support and guidance for however long it takes to work out your difficulties.
- Employees who seek help through this service do not jeopardize their job security or promotional opportunities. Safeguards are in place to ensure the anonymity of employees who voluntarily seek assistance. Referral consultants maintain the privacy and dignity of those who come to them seeking help.
Read the Standard Operating Guideline.
Peer Support Contacts
|Marcus Martyn Jones||324||Afirstname.lastname@example.org||416-873-0954|
|Brian Mc Alinden||212||Aemail@example.com||905-391-5118|
When initiated through the chain of command, a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team will activate the appropriate structured group intervention, 24/7/365. The Critical Incident Stress Team is staffed by a volunteer committee of active and retired Toronto Fire Services employees.
Call 416-338-9327 – 24/7.
- Critical Incident: Any incident that causes unusually strong emotional feelings. Such feelings possess the ability to surpass one’s normal ability to cope.
- Critical Incident Stress: The resulting reactions to these strong feelings. These reactions can be emotional, cognitive and/or physical in nature.
Facts About Critical Incident Stress
- Critical incident stress reactions are normal and to be expected. They develop in most people who face unusually stressful or traumatic situations.
- The stress reactions are usually temporary and subside in three to six weeks.
- If stress reactions persist beyond six weeks, counselling should be considered.
- It is important for firefighters, officers and others to be aware of these possible reactions, as well as the fact that they are normal. Consequently, such reactions will not be misinterpreted that a person is experiencing something abnormal, and thereby inappropriately increasing their level of stress.
Standard Operating Guideline
Critical Incidents and/or Traumatic Events
- Any call involving a Mayday
- Serious injury or death of a firefighter in (or off) the line of duty
- Events that seriously threaten a firefighter’s life
- Suicide or untimely death of a fire fighter
- Prolonged (successful/unsuccessful) rescue operation
- Serious injury or death of a civilian resulting from Toronto Fire Services (TFS) operations
- Personal identification with the victim or the circumstances
- Death of child or violence to a child
- Mass casualty Incidents (MCIs)
- Death of a patient following extraordinary and prolonged expenditure of physical and emotional energy during rescue efforts.
- Incidents that attract excessive media coverage.
- Any incident charged with profound emotion.
Chris Rodrigues is a psychological associate authorized to practice with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. In addition to providing short-term counselling, one-on-one advice, guidance and coaching to Toronto Fire Services employees, Chris also:
- reviews and recommends training for the peer support team in line with standard of practice as well as refresher training
- conducts periodic wellness checks with peer support team members, and
- provides referral information on appropriate internal and external resources
Chris can meet with employees at several locations across the city or in his office at Station #322 (256 Cosburn Ave.) His office hours are by appointment only on Monday, Thursday and every other Wednesday.
City of Toronto Employee Assistance Program
The City of Toronto’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers confidential short-term counselling, information and referral services to members of the Toronto Public Service and eligible family members. There is no cost to you for short-term services.
Call 416-392-6633 or TTY 416-338-2916 – 24/7.