Crisis Support Training (CST)

Chandler Fire Department was awarded an Innovation Grant from Vitalyst Health Foundation and Arizona Community Foundation and they selected ASU's Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy as their partner to create, deliver, and evaluate a Crisis Support Training (CST) curriculum specifically designed for firefighters and emergency medical professionals.

The project collaborates with community partners and organizations to help firefighters develop efficacy in their knowledge of serious mental illnesses and how to appropriately engage individuals in behavioral health crises. The impact of this project will help reduce the stigma of mental illness, improve patient outcomes, and increase access to appropriate care.

Training 1: Awareness - 4 hours

This introductory training was designed to assist firefighters to create awareness and understanding regarding the cultural shift in the profession of the modern day firefighter. This is accomplished by increasing the skills of street triage, building empathy by exposing them to people with lived experience speakers, hearing voices activity, common mental illnesses, and effective communication skills.

Training 2: Advanced - 16 hours

The 16-hour advanced level training takes a deeper approach of instructing on these various topics; Access to care: 911 & Beyond, Partnering Firefighters and Police on Crisis Calls, Advanced Verbal De-escalation & Effective Communication, NAMI Family Perspective, Psychopharmacology: Street Triage, Understanding Addiction as a Disease, Addiction: Personal/Family Perspective, Assessing for Suicide, Emotional Intelligence, Scenarios Role-Plays, and Compassion Fatigue & Self-Care for Firefighters. Numerous subject matter experts are utilized to provide the instruction in each other their areas of focus and expertise.

Arizona State Fire School (September 2020)

This training was designed to assist firefighters and emergency medical professionals by bolstering awareness and understanding on behavioral health/substance use related calls. This is accomplished by increasing street triage skills, intensification of empathy by exposing participants to people with loved experiences, hearing voices simulation, common mental illnesses, and effective communication skills.

  • Assess to Care: 911 & Beyond Regional Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) Systems
  • Partnering Firefighters and Police on Crisis Calls
  • Advanced Verbal De-escalation
  • Psychopharmacology on the Street: Drug Recognition
  • NAMI: Individual & Family Perspectives
  • Hearing Voices that are Distressing: Simulation
  • Understanding Addiction & Personal Perspectives
  • Debunking Suicide Myths & Suicide Lethality Assessment
  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
  • Compassion Fatigue & Self Care for Firefighters
  • Virtual Dementia Tour (VDT) by Second Wind Dreams
  • Roleplay & Discussions

Training of the Trainer: Within this 24-hour course will be a training of the trainer and teach-backs for the participants to take this curriculum back to their departments and teach it in their regions. This training was specifically created for the fire service and all ranks and years of service.