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Addressing PTSD & Creating a Culture of Courage

Creating a Culture of Courage: A Behavioral Health Study of Resilience and Response to Traumatic Events for Firefighters

Firefighter wellness is multilayered and requires the support of your coworkers, administrators, and local community. Brett Ellis, Assistant Chief of Operations for Harris County ESD No. 48 Fire Department, will discuss and share his findings from his study of firefighter behavioral health in relation to suicide ideation. The session will also address how physical and mental health are pivotal to keeping firefighters safe, and how you can help bring safety and awareness into your department. Also covered in this session:

  • Fire service behavioral tradition and trends
  • Findings from his research for Firefighters, Driver Operators, Company Officers, and Chief Officers
  • Recommendations for the fire service for pre-incident programming and post-incident response
  • Unexpected findings that will drive fire service cultural change
  • Cultural change for fire service leaders

About the speaker:
Brett Ellis is an experienced fire service professional with a teaching focus on leadership and personal development. Brett serves Harris County ESD No. 48 Fire Department as the Assistant Chief of Operations over Suppression. Chief Ellis brings more than 22 years of experience between Pflugerville, Sugar Land, and HCESD No. 48 Fire Departments, as well as a number of years teaching at various fire academies. Brett earned an AAS in Fire Protection Technology, a BA in Business Administration, an MA in Leadership, and is currently earning his Doctorate in Education with a focus in Transformational Leadership. Brett’s Doctoral dissertation work centers on “how individual resilience relates to lived experiences for firefighters in response to traumatic events, who may need next level behavioral health care, which in turn will better identify higher ‘at-risk’ firefighters who could consider suicide as an option outside of peer interventions support.” 

watch on demand