Being the spouse, partner or family member of a firefighter is no easy thing. We all know how difficult it can be when your loved one gets called into a dangerous situation – and it’s sometimes just as stressful, if not more, to wait for them to come back home safely. From unpredictable schedules, emotional trauma, increased health risks and more, firefighter families are put through a lot, but MnFIRE is available to help ease that burden.
As part of our free ongoing health and wellness training for all Minnesota firefighters through the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program, we’re excited to announce a new training session designed specifically to give fire service spouses, partners and family members the tools and perspective needed to support the mental and physical health of their firefighter loved ones – and their families. The goal of this training is to help spouses and significant others navigate potential challenges that can arise when you have a firefighter in your family, and give you more insight into what your firefighter loved one faces on the job.
“As the spouse and supporter of a firefighter, I have wanted to play a more active role in ensuring he is healthy both mentally and physically while he serves our community,” said a firefighter spouse about the MnFIRE training. “This [training] was exactly what I was looking for. I want to bring this back home with me and share with other fire spouses so they, too, feel equipped with information and action steps if and when needed.”
It’s just as important for firefighter partners and families to practice consistent self-care, seek social support and keep up a routine. If stress is overwhelming your ability to cope, consider talking to a mental health professional. Confidential help is available over the phone or online, anytime for any Minnesota firefighter and their family through the MnFIRE Assistance Program (MAP). Any member of a firefighter’s household, including children living away from home, can access up to five counseling visits a year for free through the MAP. Understanding your loved one’s mental health needs may not only aid in their recovery, but help you cope as well.
The MnFIRE spouse & significant other training is currently being offered at regional sessions throughout Minnesota. Contact us to learn more. You can always find up-to-date resources on the Firefighter Significant Others & Families page of our website as well.