Joliet Firefighters 
Peer Support Group

"Firefighters helping firefighters and their families"

Peer Support CALL/TEXT (855) JFD-PEER

Upper Room Crisis Line CALL/TEXT (888) 808-8497

Clinicians CALL/TEXT (815) 353-3122

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COVID-19

COVID-19.  Protect yourself and your loved ones.

About Our Group

Common Challenges for First Responders

Suicide

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Substance Use Disorder (SUD)

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Suicide in the fire service has reached alarming proportions, surpassing line of duty deaths (LODD) in firefighters.   According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were 60 firefighter LODD in 2017.  Compare this to 91 firefighter suicides.

Substance Use Disorder (SUD)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Substance Use Disorder (SUD)

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SUD is a common issue within the first responder community.  Current research suggests that those in fire service engage in binge drinking at almost double the rate of the general public.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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PTSD has reached epidemic proportions in the fire service.  Symptoms include intrusion, avoidance, negative cognition and mood, and alteration in arousal response.

Depression

Sleep Disorders

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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Firefighters experience depressive disorders at more that twice the rate of the general public (17% vs 7%).  Resources are available to help.

Family Issues

Sleep Disorders

Sleep Disorders

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The firefighter is not the only one affected by the job.  Spouses, partners, significant others, children and even parents can all face challenges.

Sleep Disorders

Sleep Disorders

Sleep Disorders

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Ask mental health professionals and they will tell you that everything is related to sleep.  Many mental health (and physical) issues can be affected by poor sleep.

Weekly Video - "The Helping Hand" Episode 10

Please check out the VIDEO page for archived video presentations.    In this episode we discuss our April, 2020 group meeting, survey results and upcoming Zoom support meetings.  Please let us know what you think.  


We encourage spouses, loved ones and the public to view these video newsletters.  It may aid in understanding the Joliet Fire Department as well as your loved ones.

JFPSG Mission and Vision Statements

JFPSG Mission Statement

The Joliet Firefighters Peer Support believes that the path to Joliet Firefighter mental and emotional health begins with firefighters, clinicians, clergy, and public officials working together to provide support, education, and connection to resources to our firefighters and their families. The public can depend on firefighters. Firefighters can depend on their peer support network.

JFPSG Vision Statetment

A Fire Department where all Joliet Firefighters and their families are holistically cared for by their peer network regarding all forms of mental and emotional health

People Who Care

We are a volunteer organization that has the best interest of firefighters in mind.  Our firefighters have been trained to the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Peer Support standards and are prepared to provide quality peer support.

Our Partners

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Aspire- Center for positive change: Mission

To provide a safe, understanding environment dedicated to the overall health and well-being of the individual. Focused on building a therapeutic relationship which values each individual and their story.

Call (815) 353-3122 or (815) 353-3339 

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The Upper Room Crisis Line: Mission

The Upper Room Crisis Hotline is motivated by the mercy and compassion of Jesus the Upper Room Crisis Hotline provides a non-
judgmental listening and referral hotline to anyone in spiritual need including clergy, Religious and lay
people of all faiths.

Call (888) 808-8724

Our Peer Supporters

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Ed Arambasich    eja1951@gmail.com     217-316-4335

Chris Bay    u4ruko@gmail.com    815-216-1740

James Boyd   boyd1114@yahoo.com    815-671-0630

Matt Christensen    firemac127@sbcglobal.net    779-875-5146

Tom Douglas    thomas-douglas@sbcglobal.net    815-342-4574

Justin Farrar    justkfar@sbcglobal.net   815-730-0850

Chris Groh       815-739-3448

Jeremy Hoffman    puphoffman@sbcglobal.net     815-353-6956

Aaron Kozlowski    akozlowski44@yahoo.com    815-922-5348

Nate Kren    nate.kren@gmail.com    815-210-2933

Jim Larson    larsmedic7@comcast.net    815-955-7041

John Lukancic    johnlukancic@msn.com    815-530-2196

John Miller       815-955-6094

Nancy Nelson     nnelson.aspire@gmail.com    815-353-3339

Stan Nowicki      snowicki@joliet.gov    815-954-1365

Mike Nurczyk    mnurzjfd@comcast.net    815-529-0193

Courtney O'Brien    cobrien.aspire@gmail.com    815-353-3122

Chris O'Hara    christopherohara54@gmail.com    815-791-3063

Matt Pasteris    matt_pasteris@yahoo.com    815-671-6390

Dominick Perona    dominickperona@gmail.com    815-909-4384

Jan Quillman    janquillman@att.net    815-726-7071

Burke Schuster    burkeschuster@gmail.com    815-730-3897

Mary Frances Seeley    hotlineconsultant50@gmail.com    815-341-9124

Terry Smith    catholichotline@gmail.com    630-988-7395

Mike Stapp      mks2457@yahoo.com    815-690-6507

Mike Stromberg     iamberg4@yahoo.com    815-258-6880

Pat  Wojewoda    patrickwojewoda@sbcglobal.net    815-258-4725

Floyd Woods       815-409-1877

FAQs

Q:  Are you sure this is confidential?

A:  Yes.  We have already spoken to and rendered aid to several firefighters and have maintained confidentiality.  Confidentiality is one of our core values.


Q:  Is there a law that governs peer support in Illinois?

A:  Yes.  5 ILCS 840/1, the First Responders Suicide Prevention Act establishes rules for peer support teams across the state.


Q:  What is your purpose?

A:  Our purpose is to care for the mental health of Joliet Firefighters and their Families.


Q:  Is it true that annually there are more firefighter suicides than line of duty deaths (LODD)?

A:  Unfortunately, yes.  The firefighter suicide rate is far higher than the firefighter LODD rate.  According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were 60 LODDs in 2017.  Compare that to 91 suicides in the same year.  This is a startlingly high number.  Mental health care and identification of illness in the fire service must improve.  Peer Support is a good start.

2019 Annual Report

Our 2019 Annual Report is available to view.  Please click the file below.

ANNUAL REPORT FINAL (pdf)

Download