BULLETIN

Bulletin No:          031                          Volume:  22                              10 February 2016

To ALL UFU MEMBERS

IMPORTANT NOTICE

SUPPORT SERVICES FOR

MFB AND CFA MEMBERS

ADDITIONAL UFU WELFARE OFFICER

AVAILABLE TO ALL MEMBERS

EXTERNAL SUPPORT SERVICES

AVAILABLE TO ALL

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the recent loss of a number of UFU members and the impact that may have on our members and colleagues.

Inherently it is instilled in us to look after each other of which we have a proud history of doing so.    We encourage all to be even more vigilant in our care and concern for one another at this time.

As previously notified, there are dedicated support services available including support services available to MFB and CFA members, external support services available to everyone,  and the additionally recently established UFU Welfare Officer.

As members are aware, the nature of our industry is one that generates inherent stress and anxiety which may result in depression or other illness.

It is often not spoken about but it is common for firefighters to experience these types of mental health trauma as a result of their service to the community.

Therefore it is vitally important that each and every one of us recognise that we are susceptible to experiencing any one of the above as a result of the nature of our industry.

The support services available are as follows:

MFB and CFA

Both the MFB and the CFA have support services which members are encouraged to access.  The contact details are as follows:

  • For MFB personnel there is 24 hour access to a dedicated counselling service with psychologists by calling 1800 451 138 or 1300 366 789.  If you call this service you can have immediate access to a psychologist via telephone or alternatively make an appointment.  This service is also available for family members.

  • Additionally for MFB personnel there is an extensive peer support program where a clinician can be accessed by calling 9665 4405 or 0407 665 174 or the Peer Coordinator on 0417 538 289 or 9665 4516.

  • CFA members can access Critical Incident Stress Peer Support by calling either the CFA Chaplain Service on 1800 337 068 or CFA Member Assistance Program – a 24 hour confidential and external counselling service on 1300 795 711.

We encourage you to use the above services provided by the MFB and CFA, but if you feel uncomfortable in doing so there are external support services which all can access.

Services available to all:

On the beyondblue website https://www.beyondblue.org.au/ the following support services are listed that are external to the CFA and MFB and that are available to all. 

The website has comprehensive information that deals with a range of mental health awareness and the support and help that is available.

The numbers for these services are as follows: 

  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Suicide Call Back Services  1300 659 467
  • beyondblue Support Service 1300 22 4636

UFU Welfare Officer

The UFU has also implemented an internal, expanded welfare service for current and retired members, using an extremely highly qualified person whose integrity is beyond reproach. We encourage all members to use this new welfare service.

Ross Fusca has been appointed as the UFU’s Welfare Officer. He can provide assistance to members based on his wealth of expertise.

Ross comes to us with thirty years’ experience in law enforcement with the Australian Federal Police, attaining the substantive rank of Detective Sergeant. Within this role, he held the position of Welfare Officer (Victoria and Tasmania), encompassing portfolios including Return to Work Coordinator, Equal Opportunities Officer, Sexual Harassment Contact Officer, Aboriginal Liaison Officer and Regional Mediator.

Over this time, Ross successfully contributed to a safer and equitable workplace, with a number of his recommendations adopted by AFP management.

Ross will also have at his disposal the ability to refer UFU members to independent external services if required.

Ross can be contacted by members confidentially at: ufuwelfareofficer@gmail.com or 0477 884 456.

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact the UFU on 9419 8811 or Peter Marshall on 0419 127 004.

Strength in Unity

READ OUT AT MUSTER AND PIN ON NOTICE BOARD

Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary