The Carlsbad Fire Department has received a $41,135 grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, an application inspired by the efforts of a local grassroots organization.
First responders have to deal with tragic and terrible situations on a frequent basis. This can lead to behavioral health issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, substance abuse and even suicide. One in three first responders will develop PTSD during their careers.
CISM training is a method of helping first responders and others who have been involved in critical incidents that may leave them emotionally or physically impacted by those incidents.
In the winter of 2019, a group of Carlsbad residents formed what they called the Carlsbad Mental Health Awareness Group, seeking additional CISM training resources for area first responders. The group held a fundraiser in January of 2020, but additional funding was still needed to meet the organization’s goals.
That’s where Terry Brunner and the Grants Collective came in. In 2019, the Permian Strategic Partnership (PSP) launched a grant writing program in Eddy County to help local governments, school districts and non-profits compete for state, federal and private grant opportunities. PSP directed the Grants Collective to provide assistance to the City of Carlsbad by locating an applicable grant, as well as providing project review, editing and packaging for the grant application. In August, the City received notification that grant was awarded.
“This was truly a team effort,” Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway said. “Ashly Key and members of the Mental Health Awareness Group really got the ball rolling, while the Grants Collective and PSP helped make this program achievable. We appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm and assistance.”
Funds will be used to provide Critical Incident Stress Management training to select Fire Department and Police Department employees and Peer Support training for the entire fire department. Members of the Carlsbad Police Department will also be able to receive additional Peer Support training.
“The Permian Strategic Partnership (PSP) is proud to have assisted the City of Carlsbad Fire Department in applying for the $41,135 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This critical grant will help with behavioral health support and training for our first responders including Critical Incident Stress Management techniques for when critical incidents occur” said Tracee Bentley, President and CEO of the PSP. “We recognize that in these difficult times that many critical services are in high demand.”
Bentley said PSP also recently assisted the Boys and Girls Club of Carlsbad in applying for a $5,000 grant from the All Together NM Fund that contributes to thousands of meals to be served to children and their families during this time of need.
Key, who helped organize the community effort, said additional sponsors who supported the program include Constructors Inc, Perfect Designs, Financial Security Credit Union, Guadalupe Mountain Brew, WPX Energy, Nuclear Waste Partnership, United Way of Eddy County, Danny’s Place, Carlsbad Small Engine, Crystal’s Salon, Cavern Cuts, Pizza Inn and Stranded, as well as community members who personally donated.
“We are overwhelmed by the support of our community for our cause! Our First Responders lives and careers will be positively impacted by the CISM training this team will receive,” Key said. “By receiving the grant through the Permian Strategic Partnership’s assistance we have achieved our goal for the 2020 year. It has been an absolute joy to work with Mayor Janway, Chief Richard Lopez, the Carlsbad CISM team, Community Businesses, and the Grants Collective while raising funds for this extremely important cause!”
Source: City of Carlsbad Press Release