Stress First Aid

First responders are faced with a myriad of stressors that go beyond what the general population may experience. The effects of first responder stress events can factor into behavioral health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and depression. Resources available today, like Stress First Aid (SFA), address the unique stressors related to first responders and build on the strengths of first responders, including a sense of belonging, support from one another, and a strong sense of purpose.

SFA is a flexible set of tools used to care for stress reactions in fire and EMS personnel. Unlike other acute stress management procedures, SFA was designed specifically to support firefighters and EMS personnel. The goal of SFA is to restore health and readiness after a stress reaction. SFA is a toolkit that emphasizes the importance of continuously monitoring the stress of fire and rescue personnel, to quickly recognize and appropriately help individuals who are reacting to stress and are in need of interventions to promote healing.

The SFA model is a self-care and peer support model developed for those in high-risk occupations like dispatchers, fire and rescue, and law enforcement. It includes seven actions that will help you identify and address early signs of stress reactions in yourself and others in an ongoing way (not just after “critical incidents”).

While stress reactions may be relatively common in first responder jobs, SFA has been developed to be used when functioning is impaired or there is significant distress involved, such as:

Follow the links below to learn more about Stress First Aid.  A self-guided online training module is available below.

Stress First Aid Online Module

Self Paced


Additional Learning Material

Read more about how you can incorporate SFA in your everyday tasks, both on and off the job, by clicking your role below.

Group Presentations