PFANJ Peer Counseling
The stresses faced by fire service members throughout the course of their careers – incidents involving children, violence, inherent dangers of firefighting and other potentially traumatic events – can have a cumulative impact on mental health and well-being. Peer support programs have been demonstrated to be an effective method for providing support to occupational groups, including fire fighters.
With this in mind, the PFANJ Peer Counseling Program has been established. There are 23 IAFF trained counselors in the PFANJ that can be dispatched throughout the state as needed. Michael Somma (Jersey City Firefighters IAFF Local 1066) has been appointed as the coordinator of the PFANJ Peer program. Mike is in the process of setting up a procedure for the PFANJ program and all Locals to follow if a need for a peer counselor is requested. Until it is fully set up, Local presidents should continue to contact the state office or PFANJ President Marino when peer counselors are needed.