Firefighter Interventions

At Health Psychology Group, we offer individual treatment to help manage the stress inherent in this difficult, complex and important occupation. We have provided evaluation, treatment and in some cases documentation to departments to provide support during administrative procedures.

We have provided short-term interventions to help in managing critical incidents, psychotherapy and have completed pension disability applications.

Dr. Steinberg is a Board Certified Disability Analyst, Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress and trained in Critical Incident Stress Management.

Dr. Steinberg has also testified as an expert during the pension process.

Firefighters experience stress specific to their profession including:

  • Dealing with shift work and long hours
  • Providing multiple life-saving roles often in hazardous conditions
  • Antagonistic “subcultures” within the department
  • Perceived favoritism within the department
  • Perceived lack of public understanding

In addition, emergency responders are often confronted with Critical Incidents, which are sudden, powerful events, outside the realm of normal experience.

These events include:

  • Death of a fellow firefighter in the line of duty
  • Suicide of a colleague
  • Serious injury/Mass casualty event
  • Death of a child
  • Prolong events ending unfavorably
  • Excessive media interest
  • Events with personal meaning
  • Administrative issues
  • Other significant incidents

As a result of these critical events, firefighters often experience “normal” reactions to “abnormal” events for a period of time after exposure. Changes can be experienced in physical, cognitive, emotional, social, or behavioral spheres.

There are factors that influence an individual’s experience with Critical Incident Stress including:

  • The nature of the event, degree of loss or threat
  • The firefighter’s role in the scene
  • The firefighter’s role in the scene
  • The amount of control over the stressor and degree of warning
  • Experience with prior similar events
  • Current life stressors and existing coping mechanisms
  • Departmental procedures and policies