qathet, BC – The qathet Regional District (qRD) is pleased to announce the receipt of a grant award of $96,000 through the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) for the Volunteer and Composite Fire Departments Equipment and Training funding stream of the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF). The intent of this funding stream is to build the resiliency of volunteer and composite fire departments.
The funds will be used for a health and wellness initiative designed to boost resiliency of our firefighters and first responders by supporting mental and physical health and wellness.
The project will kick off in Spring 2024 and will include mental health resiliency training, a holistic suite of mental and physical health and wellness training and workshops offered to our fire department members over the course of the year. These training initiatives and workshops aim to promote and bolster mental and physical health and wellness, fortify group dynamics, and enhance team cohesiveness and engagement.
The qRD has approximately 120 firefighters who respond to hundreds of emergency calls each year. These individuals are routinely exposed to traumatic events in the course of their duties. Recent research in this field shows that first responders are at a higher risk of mental health injuries. The qRD Occupational Health & Safety Program, in conjunction with the Fire Chiefs and Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committees from the Northside, Savary Island, Malaspina, and Lasqueti Island Volunteer Fire Departments have recognized the unique stresses on fire department members’ mental health resulting from their service.
“In the last three years, the qRD has taken a number of steps to support our first responders’ mental health. These initiatives include developing a Critical Incident Stress Management and Peer Support Program and related training, providing fire department members with a robust Member & Family Assistance Program, and providing proactive Occupational Stress Injury Check Ins with clinical case managers to assess our firefighter’s health and wellness and prevent mental health injuries,” said qathet Regional District Board Chair, Clay Brander. “By accessing grant funding to provide these additional training resources, we can provide another injection of health and wellness knowledge and promote resiliency into our fire departments.”
About the qathet Regional District:
The qathet Regional District serves the rural areas from Lund to sḵelhp (Saltery Bay), the City of Powell River, Texada Island, Savary Island, and Lasqueti Island. The qRD provides some services, through contract, to Tla’amin Nation. To learn more please visit qathet.ca.
Ryan Thoms, Manager of Emergency Services
#202 – 4675 Marine Avenue
Powell River, BC V8A 2L2
P: 604∙485∙2260 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org