The Peer Support Program has received a technology boost with the delivery of iPads and Bluetooth conference call speakers to help peer coordinators and their teams to remain connected.
Spicers and HBF donated to CFA following the 2019-20 fire season, and they requested that their donation be used to support those looking out for other members’ mental health and wellbeing.
The 15 peer teams across the state have each been provided with an Apple iPad that has cellular capability to connect to the internet no matter where they are.
The teams have also received a portable Bluetooth conference speaker and other accessories that allow them to connect in person and online.
This equipment has already been widely used, largely because of the coronavirus pandemic, and will continue to be an asset for many years to come.
“It has been a fantastic inclusion that has allowed me to keep in touch with other peer coordinators across the state along with our program leaders at headquarters at a time where we were unable to meet face to face,”. District 15 Peer Coordinator Marie Bedggood said.
The addition of these iPads allows peers to join or run meetings from wherever they are, whether that is a district peer team meeting, Statewide Leadership Team meeting, webinars and even the remote delivery of Psychological First Aid.
Lesley Read, who is the District 12 peer coordinator said the equipment has enabled her to meet with volunteers face-to-face at a time when we were not able to meet in person.
“It has also given me the ability to keep in touch with my own team which has been particularly important over the past 18 months or so,” Lesley said.
In 2020 the Peer Support Program also launched its online reporting tool that allows peers to provide timely reporting in relation to their activations, and peer coordinators can now do this reporting via these iPads.
Three Wellbeing Deployment Kits have also been created that are a state-based resource and deployed to any major incident where peer support is required to be on the ground. These kits include, a full complement of spatial vision map books, mobile bag radio, mobile phone, tablet and other ancillary equipment that is required to support the important role that peers play to support members and partner agencies during large-scale incidents.
“There is no doubt that the provision of this equipment has enabled greater capability for our peer teams across the state and is another example of how the program continues to evolve to meet the needs of our members and their families,” Peer Support Program Manager Tim Rogers said.
“We are very appreciative of the equipment that was provided to us as part of this generous donation from Spicers and HBF.”
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