Lifelines Fire and Rescue

We’re glad you’re here. 

Whatever your involvement with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, these resources are for you. Whether you’re a fire fighter or work in control, in management or a support role, new recruit, retained or retiree, family member or friend.

On these pages, you’ll find advice and information to support your emotional and psychological wellbeing and where you can access help if you need it.

Thank you for all you are doing to protect your fellow citizens. Please look after yourselves too.

Why I’m ok most of the time
It’s not an accident that most of the time we’re able to cope with what life throws at us. Learn more about resilience, positive coping and social support. Join us on the Staying Well Road Trip.
When I might need some help
We all have mental health and responders are not invincible.  Learn how to spot your warning signs, what you can do if you get psychologically injured and how to help others.
Info for friends, family and supporters
Are you part of the wider fire and rescue family? Do you employ a retained fire fighter or provide professional support to fire and rescue personnel? Find information and resources here.

Find help now

Need to talk to someone now or want to find out more about the support available to you and your family? Below is a selection specific to Fire & Rescue or you can check out more national services on the Lifelines Scotland Find Help page. 
SFRS Health and Wellbeing Department
The Health and Wellbeing team offer a range of advice and guidance to all staff within the SFRS, to support their mental and physical wellbeing. In addition to the delivery of routine wellbeing assessments, the team will undertake self and management referrals, coordinate counselling and post incident trauma support, raise awareness of H&W issues as part of a regular programme of health promotion campaigns, provide specialist clinical and fitness advice, access physiotherapy services and provide signposting to make sure that we continue to keep excellent mental health and wellbeing at the core of what we do at SFRS. Email the team to find out more.
Employee Assistance Programme
Employee Assistance Programme (HELP) offers an employee counselling service, provided by trained counselling and welfare practitioners. SFRS staff can access support for themselves and their immediate families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Details of how to contact the EAP are on the SFRS intranet.
Rivers Centre for Traumatic Stress (Post Incident Support)
The Rivers Centre (NHS Lothian) provides specialist support and treatment to Scottish Fire and Rescue staff adversely affected by traumatic incidents at work. The Rivers team have been supporting emergency responders for more than 20 years. 

Post incident support is activated by the incident commander following a challenging job. Three weeks later you will receive a “check-in” questionnaire to fill in and return to the Rivers Centre. One of the team may call to see how you’re doing and you can use the questionnaire to self-refer for support.

Call 0131 451 7400 or email for more information.
Fire Brigades Union
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is the democratic and professional voice of firefighters, in all roles and on all duty systems. We have officials who are trained and experienced to support, advise and represent members on fire stations, within operational fire control rooms and officers working flexibly. Our trade sections cover the retained, control and officer members and our equality sections cover Black & Ethnic Minority, LGBT and Women members.

The FBU also has reps covering Fairness at Work, Health & Safety and Education. Any member looking for support, advice or representation can find the details of our officials on our website. We have an education pathway where members can apply for courses on a wide range of areas including mental health, suicide prevention and handling members problems.
Fire Fighters Charity
Delivering specialist health and wellbeing information and support to enable a healthier and happier UK fire services community, The Fire Fighters Charity blends innovative digital services with face-to-face and community-based programmes, to offer each of its beneficiaries tailored support to meet their individual need.

To find out more visit our website, call the Charity’s Support Line on 0800 3898820 or download the My Fire Fighters Charity app. The Charity supports serving and retired Fire and Rescue Service Personnel, their dependants and other eligible members of the UK fire services community.
Fire Officers Association
The Fire Officers' Association is an independent, non-political trade union representing and supporting fire and rescue staff in relation to all aspects of employment including health and wellbeing; our ethos is ‘people not politics’.  Links to resources are available from our Personal wellbeing web page and personal support in confidence can be accessed by phoning or e-mailing our Head Office. For more information, call 01608 652023 or visit the website.
Scottish Fire & Rescue Service Family Support Trust 
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Family Support Trust exists to provide financial and other support services to serving and retired members of SFRS and their families. This includes grants bereavement grants, hardship grants, registered beneficiaries, Christmas grants and the Children’s Investment Trust - a fund to support Service children who have suffered parental loss. 

As well as providing financial assistance, FST offers a Spanish respite facility, to assist with rest and recuperation and arranges social activities for registered beneficiaries. FST also has support from both Chaplains: Father Jim Thompson & Reverend Gordon Armstrong.
Sapper Support
Sapper Support is 24/7 PTSD helpline staffed by veterans and 999 personnel. We give emotional and physical support to sufferers of PTSD and other associated mental health issues. We can also speed up the process of recovery by financing that all important diagnosis.

Call 0800 040 7873 / 0800 040 7783 or text 07860018733.
Talk Group 20
Voluntary peer support for SFRS personnel. During COVID-19 sessions will take place virtually on Wednesday evenings, 1930 – 2030 hours. To join the weekly session please contact John Mitchell, Mandy Ironside or Murdo Henderson for details.
Unison / There for You
Members experiencing financial or emotional difficulties can contact the Unison Welfare Charity, There for You, which provides a confidential advice and support service for members and their dependents.

Contact your branch secretary or the Scottish Welfare Committee on 0845 355 0845.

Our funders and partners

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