Cal Fire Peer Support

Start Date: 01/26/2021


HOPE was asked to accompany Cal Fire Peer Support to visit fire stations in Riverside County where the firefighters were dealing with issues related to working conditions brought about by the wildfires, Covid, the lack of any time off and the requirement to work overtime. We started at the Training Center in Riverside and spent about 30 minutes visiting with the personnel in that facility. Our next stop was a fire dispatch center, where we interacted with about 12 dispatchers. The rest of the day was spent visiting 3 fire stations in West Riverside County. Each station had 3 firefighters assigned and the purpose of the visit was for Captain Selegue to allow the firefighters to vent about the issues they were facing at this time. Each person spoke about how they are emotionally and physically drained and how they had not seen their families for weeks. One firefighter had not had a day off in 14 weeks. It's hard to watch a fireman cry, but it was clear that he was hurting. Captain Selegue listened and offered coping mechanisms, but the men didn't think anything was going to change. Abby and I just sat on the ground listening. Some of the firefighters came over to pet Abby and we passed out a few trading cards. Many of them wanted to show us pictures of their dogs on their phones.

Agency: Cal Fire