Below is the text of a general circular recently published by DFES Human Resources for the information and benefit of members.

The Chaplain responding to critical incidents dates back to when the Chaplaincy was the only support service offered. Over the last few years, a much wider range of program options are provided to promote optimum individual mental health, wellbeing and psychological resilience.

In August 2016, as part of implementing control/mitigation strategies from the Potentially Traumatic Risk Assessment, the Wellness Branch commenced a review of its critical incident response process to provide a more psychologically sound service and better meet the needs of first responders. More recently, the Salvation Army has advised that they intend to focus their efforts on core services to the community and would no longer be able to provide a Chaplaincy service to DFES.

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The review resulted in the appointment of a specialist Critical Incident Response Coordinator dedicated to manage a 24/7 on call service and ensure that the protocols and responses reflect best practice standards. From a first responder perspective, there will still be someone 24/7 to talk to you about what level of psychological support response is most appropriate for your or your crews. The on call roster will be staffed by the Wellness Branch who are trained, skilled and understand the kind of work you do.

Further information on the Critical Incident Response processes will soon be available on the DFES Intranet and Volunteer Portal, under Wellness. The Wellness Branch will also be engaging in visits to Stations/BGUS in the coming weeks and months to provide further information and answer questions. You can also contact Farhana Siddique, Critical Incident Coordinator Wellness on (08)9395 9761 or

In terms of Chaplaincy services, in the coming weeks we will be seeking your views on the other Chaplaincy functions and how you would like those to be offered in the future. This information will help inform any negotiations we have with other prospective Chaplaincy providers.

For more information about future Chaplaincy services, please contact Anneliese Smith, Manager Wellness Branch on (08) 9395 9363 or


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