According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH), the traumatic stress that emergency personnel are faced with everyday is rampant throughout the country. A publication, “Traumatic Incident Stress: Information for Emergency Response Workers, created by NIOSH states that traumatic incidents can produce unusually strong emotional reactions that may interfere with the ability to function at a scene or later. Warren County Fire and Rescue recognized the challenges that our emergency workers faced and have since joined with the Lord Fairfax EMS Council's Critical Incident Stress Management Team and maintain trained on-duty personnel to support our staff with critical stress defusing and intervene in order to mitigate the effects of acute stress, following major incidents.
Male and female chaplains are available to serve any and all volunteer and career personnel. WCFR Chaplains are ordained ministers who practice strict confidentiality and respect faith or non-faith tradition. They are "neutral" and do not force religious beliefs.
Chaplains are a listening ear, available to talk about any challenges a responder may be facing, whether large or small, involving work, home, etc. If the challenge is beyond their expertise, they are able to refer personnel to additional mental health services. Their purpose is to be a compassionate, helpful resource for anyone's needs. They are available 24/7 and can be contacted through Warren County Emergency Communications at 540-635-4128, or direct contact.