2021 Annual Conference
We couldn’t have the CISM Conference, but nothing is staying we can’t have the training!
I am so pleased to announce we will be having CISM training every month with valuable topics and presenters.
Mark you calendars now.
All training is FREE and will be done through Zoom starting in September.
Please feel share to share these educational opportunities with anyone that may be interested. Participants do NOT need to be CISM members to watch the presentations.
Thank you for your service and stay safe. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected]
Deputy Fire Chief John Whalen,
Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department, Florida
Monday, November 22, 2021 @ 6:00 pm
Mental Wellness Response to the Surfside Building Collapse
On Thursday, June 24th, 2021 at approximately 0125 hours the Champlain Towers South condominium partially collapsed with nearly 135 people in the building. 98 people were killed in the collapse and 126 people survived. This tragedy required a coordinated response from rescuers and support staff from around the globe.
One aspect of the response from a State level that had never before been utilized was the State Behavioral Health Access Program (BHAP). This program had been in development for several years prior to the tragedy and in fact had barely been instituted prior to June 24th, 2021. The program, designed to coordinate a response of multiple disciplines of mental health and wellness members to a large-scale incident had just been completed and was initiated at the request of the Director of the Florida State Fire Marshals office, Julius Halas.
Upon the director’s orders, a mobilization plan was coordinated which included several disciplines of mental health and wellness, including peer support personnel, chaplaincy, and licensed mental health providers and clinicians. This was a monumental task that required strict guidelines, discipline, and coordination with several agencies and advocacy groups.
This asset performed above and beyond its basic edict of caring for the caregivers and truly made a difference at the long tragic event. The toll that is taken of first responders mental and physical health is often unseen until weeks, months or even years later. The men and women that provided these services to the first responders were truly heroes on this mission and the affects they had on the activated teams will have a long reaching positive effect.