Firefighting prairie fires is a physically and mentally demanding job, with many stressors that can negatively affect the mental health of a prairie firefighter. To address this issue, a new unit, Wildfire Mental Health, has been added to the National Wildfire Coordination Group (NWCG) RT-130: Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Update (WFSTAR).
The new unit stresses the importance of seeking help, provides information on accessing mental health care resources, and provides mental fitness tools and resources, including:
- Building resilience in the face of adversity.
- Improve mental readiness.
- Realize the importance of self-care.
- Recognize the effects of accumulated stress and stress resulting from serious accidents.
To maintain the currency, WFSTAR requires training for all individuals appointed to positions with fire line duties, and for any fire line position assigned to non oppressive missions. RT-130 trainers may choose to include this new module on mental health in their annual refresher training.
For more information on the RT-130 and the new Wildland Fire Mental Health unit, visit the NWCG’s RT-130 WFSTAR course website.
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