IAFF Local 1619 Peer Support Program Awarded Unit Citation.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, PGFD Chief PIO, 240-508-7930
MEBrady@co.pg.md.us.    @PGFDPIO

The IAFF Local 1619 Peer Support program received the highest award the Department bests upon a group on March 7th, 2019 at 1619 office in Bowie.  Fire Chief Benjamin M. Barksdale joined by Chief Deputy Tiffany Green presented a unit Citation to IAFF 1619 President Andrew Pantelis and members of the group.  

In 2016, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), Local 1619, created a “Peer Support” program.  This program is a process for giving and receiving non-clinical assistance to achieve long-term recovery from behavioral health challenges.  Assistance is provided by peer supporters who have what is referred to as “lived experience”.  These individuals are also trained to assist others in initiating and maintaining long-term recovery and enhancing the quality of life for individuals and their families.  

March 7thwas intentionally chosen as the day for presentation of this award.  Two years ago, on this date, Bridgette P. Wilson, a longtime employee of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department, friend to many, and civilian member of the Peer Support Team departed this life.  So, today, we honor Ms. Wilson and remember the dedication and commitment she demonstrated in helping to bring about advancement of the Peer Support Program.  

"To the entire Peer Support Team, thank you for selflessly giving of your time and expertise on the behalf of public safety members throughout the country," stated Fire Chief Barksdale in making the presentation. " The Team, under the leadership of past and present coordinators, Battalion Chief Grady Valencis and Fighter Michael Wells, respectively, has become invaluable not only to the membership of Local 1619, but the entire International Association of Fire Fighters."       

All images by Mike Yourishin

Christine Barker accepted Bridgette Wilsons recognition on her behalf.