Years of professional experience, rank, discipline, agencies worked: I have over fourteen years in the fire service. My first two years was with the Red Bluff City Fire Department as a Firefighter/EMT. Then I spent two years as a Firefighter Paramedic with North County Fire Authority (Pacifica and Brisbane Fire Dept.). I am currently a Fire Captain with the South San Francisco Fire Department and have been with my department for approximately ten years. I am also currently a Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy for the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office and have been so for approximately five to six years.
PEER SUPPORT EXPERIENCE
Years of peer support experience, any other teams: I have been a part of the San Mateo CISM Team for approximately 11 years.
PEER SUPPORT & CRITICAL INCIDENT STRESS MANAGEMENT TRAINING
I have attended the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation Conference multiple times and attended numerous classes each time.
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where you to go…" Dr. Suess
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING ON THE SAN MATEO CO. CISM TEAM?
Being able to provide help and comfort to those who dedicate their lives to helping others (who I consider my unofficial brothers and sisters).
WHY IS PEER SUPPORT IMPORTANT FOR ME?
I have lost three coworkers to suicide at three different agencies I’ve worked for. I do not want to lose another.
WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU HAD KNOWN ABOUT PEER SUPPORT 10 YEARS AGO?
I wish I had known that if I actually opened up and talked about things and calls that were bugging me to my coworkers, I would have found that I wasn’t the only one feeling that way and that we were all kind of on the same page.
WHY SHOULD PEER SUPPORT BE A PRIORITY AT A DEPARTMENT?
Any department that has lost an employee to suicide, PTSD, drug addiction, etc., knows what a negative impact it can have on the entire agency.. My agency is still dealing with it to this day. Peer support and CISM is one small, but very important way a department can prevent and address these issues.