Durbin, Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance Announce A More Than $23,000 Investment In Fire-Fighter Suicide Prevention Initiatives

[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance, announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has awarded a $23,750 grant to the Palatine, Illinois non-profit. Today’s funding will help support the group’s work in providing suicide awareness and prevention workshops for fire departments and firefighters in Illinois and around the country.

"Firefighters and first-responders help members of our communities when crises occur, and often times they encounter both tragic and traumatic events in the line of duty. This funding will help support them after the emergency is over, and as they work to address the behavioral health impacts of their job,” Durbin said.


"The Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance (FBHA) Board of Directors and staff, are both grateful and excited to be a 2013 FEMA Fire Prevention & Safety Grant recipient. FBHA Founder Jeff Dill, a Captain at Palatine Rural Fire Protection District in Inverness, Illinois and Licensed Professional Counselor, wishes to graciously thank Senator Richard Durbin and his staff for their support. This grant will enable FBHA to educate hundreds of firefighters and EMS personnel about suicide awareness and prevention, providing free workshops to budget constrained fire departments across the United States. Over the last three years, FBHA has diligently tracked and validated the rapid increase of these tragic events, and as mental health challenges continue to threaten the safety of firefighters, FBHA is dedicated to being a major facilitator in helping to improve the awareness of behavioral health within the fire service,” said Cheryl Loew, Media Director for the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance.

The Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance is a first time recipient of this award. The non-profit focuses on educating Illinois’ firefighters about the dangers and stressors involved in their profession.


The funding is provided through the DHS’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program which seeks to strengthen the Nation’s overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and fire related hazards. In Fiscal Year 2013, the program will award approximately $320.9 million directly to fire departments and non-affiliated EMS organizations to enhance their response capabilities and to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public and emergency response personnel with respect to fire and all other hazards.