This is the heartbeat of Illinois Firefighter Peer Support (ILFFPS) and the driving force behind our commitment to you. Our team has been readily available to answer the call of our brothers and sisters who need assistance dealing with depression, thoughts of suicide, addiction, PTSD, and everything in-between. With a desire to be proactive in bringing more practical solutions to the table, we have developed an industry leading symposium comprised of international leaders in mental, emotional, and physical health issues facing First Responders and their families.
Strength is not shouldering another burden; rather, strength is in letting go and asking for help. ILFFPS is made up of fire service and EMS members. This symposium was intentionally and meticulously crafted to meet the needs of you, your families, and your team back home.
A Message from the Director:
Welcome to the homepage for the Illinois Fire Fighter Peer Support Symposium. This symposium has been designed with lots of learning opportunities for everyone, including spouses and significant others. We are proud to bring you speakers from around the world who will be teaching about PTSD, addictions, anxiety, suicide, as well as other significant issues that fire and EMS first responders face.
Last fall, I received a call from someone attending a conference. As a volunteer fire chief, he had taken two days off work to attend this event with hopes of learning how to help his volunteer firefighters. He expressed frustration with the lack of information he could take back and implement practically.
I reflected about what ILFFPS does and this Chief’s experience; giving up two days of work then driving home with nothing practical to show for it. This conversation stuck with me. ILFFPS has an incredible network of volunteers and donors that want to address this specific need. I kept thinking we could do it better, we could provide answers. After bringing this to our team and speaking with key industry professionals, we were able to make the symposium a reality.
I have personally spoken with each speaker to develop the curriculum around our central goal of providing practical solutions. We want you to leave each presentation with new, knowledge that you can return home and practically put into place. It’s important to me that attendees leave with what they need to make a difference in first responder mental health.
I am always available for questions or concerns – my goal is to make your experience the best it can possibly be.
With that said, I can’t wait to see you in March.
Sincerely, Tom Howard
Executive Director ILFFPS