The DPVFD Peer Assistance and Support Team (PAaST) was implemented in 2014, by Fire Chaplain Ben Ellis, and the group consists of members who are trained in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM). These members are privileged to provide both proactive and reactive CISM services not only to our department's members and their families, but also to our police officers, dispatchers, and their families by educating them about stress response syndromes and stress management techniques, providing emotional support, offering referral services, and providing other family support services - including marriage counseling and financial support both in-house and through our partnership withEmergency Chaplain Network
The services offered are shown to:
- Reduce the intensity of the reaction to stress.
- Render the situations less harmful and reduce recovery time.
- Help members better identify their own coping mechanisms.
- Provide an avenue for members to discuss their actions, reactions, feelings, and ideas regarding a critical incident in a controlled and confidential environment.
This team has helped numerous members of our department and provided after scene care to members of DPVFD, DPPD, and our industrial district.
In addition to helping our local first responders this team also helps to identify individual and family needs during crisis and works to provide for citizen's immediate needs in the aftermath of the crisis.All of the funds for assisting our first responders and citizens in their time of need are made available through fundraisers supported and funded by the generosity of citizens and businesses in our community.