On Wednesday, March 3, The Red Wing Fire Department partnered with the Minnesota Firefighter Initiative for a two hour session on emotional trauma and wellness training. This voluntary training came after the department worked with MnFIRE about a year and a half ago to obtain tools needed for mental and physical health.
What is MnFIRE?
Since 2016 the Minnesota Firefighter Initiative has been dedicated to providing Minnesota's firefighters with the tools they need to prioritize and protect their health by focusing on the three health problems most commonly experienced by those in the fire service: cancer, cardiac and emotional trauma.
With MnFIRE, Red Wing firefighters received in-depth training from firefighters and other health experts about actionable tips on how to protect themselves from emotional trauma. According to MnFIRE, emotional trauma is one of the three problems most commonly experienced by those in the fire service. The other two health concerns are cancer and cardiac issues. According to the organization, four to six active Minnesota firefighters die from suicide each year.
In addition to conducting MnFIRE Aware Trainings both in person and online at no cost to departments, MnFIRE offers a confidential, toll-free helpline (888-784-6634) for firefighters in crisis. The nonprofit is also spearheading a legislative initiative to improve access to care for firefighters in need of treatment for cancer, cardiac and emotional trauma issues - the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program, which is planned to be introduced during the 2021 legislative session. Learn more at MNFireInitiative.com.
Red Wing Fire Chief Mike Warner told the Republican Eagle of the recent training, “I realized that we as the fire department need to continue to provide to our citizens, and to do that, that I need give all of the firefighters the resources to be able to provide the help that they need to do. So if they need help, then we need to get them the help that they need.”