Each day, CFA members attend events many other people don’t have to deal with. Those events can be distressing for members and also their families.
CFA recognises that families provide crucial support to its members which is why the organisation is building on its existing welfare services.
Acting Manager of Organisational Wellbeing, Angela Seach, said CFA wants those families to know that welfare support reaches beyond its members.
“We have created a page on CFA’s public website called ‘Welfare services for families’. This webpage can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Ms Seach said.
“Most importantly, assistance is available to immediate family members of a CFA member. It’s free and confidential.”
The Welfare Services website provides tips on how to support your partner or friend by listening carefully, reassuring them, supporting them, and giving them space when required.
Ms Seach said it’s important to know how to recognise if a loved one is struggling.
“People need to monitor members’ reactions and behaviour by keeping an eye on how they interact with their family, how they sleep, eat and drink, just to list a few,” she said.
“If you notice any significant changes, it may be necessary to take some steps to help them get back on track.”
CFA is encouraging families and friends of its members to visit the Welfare Services website at www.cfa.vic.gov.au/family or contact your local CFA Headquarters.
CFA members also have access to a range of welfare services. These can be found on Brigades Online www.cfaonline.cfa.vic.gov.au (members only website) or by contacting the Regional Office or CFA Organisational Wellbeing on (03) 9262 8836.