Recently, the Oregon Fire Chiefs Association (OFCA) received $100,000 in grant funds from the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) with a commitment to helping improve health and wellness in the fire service. Since then, OFCA has been working to identify a meaningful and impactful way to distribute this funding.
OFCA members were surveyed to provide feedback and recommendations for the distribution. After reviewing survey results, OFCA awarded Special Districts Insurance Services (SDIS) with a $15,000 grant to assist with funding the Public Safety Employee Assistance Program (EAP). In addition, OFCA has allocated $60,000 to grants to support fitness equipment investments and $25,000 to be used as additional needs arise.
We are incredibly grateful for this generous grant from OFCA for the Public Safety EAP. This contribution will assist us with ensuring this valuable program continues to be funded for our members’ emergency services professionals. Since its inception, utilization of the EAP has increased to 8.4%, which is above the industry standard of 5.2%. The issues that have generated the majority of counseling have been partner/relationship, depression/anxiety, stress/workplace stress, and individual/behavioral. Since the end of 2019, the number of activities/points of contact with the EAP have increased 100%.
Currently, the Public Safety EAP is available free of charge to all career firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, 911 telecommunicators, and police officers employed with our SDIS member districts. Volunteers and administrative staff can also be added by districts at a negotiated, discounted rate. Individuals and their dependents have immediate access to these program services and benefits by calling 888-327-1060 or visiting www.PublicSafetyEAP.com.