July 27, 2022

Peer Support Network — Opening the Doors to Firefighter Mental Health | S2 E30

This episode features an interview with Doug O'Rourke, a Lieutenant with the Hamden Fire Department, who also serves as the Director of the Connecticut Firefighter Peer Support Network.


Peer support is an essential element of any emergency response team. This episode features an interview with Doug O'Rourke, a Lieutenant with the Hamden Fire Department, who also serves as the Director of the Connecticut Firefighter Peer Support Network. In this video, Doug talks about the organization and its mission. He discusses the importance of peer support in the fire service, and how an effective peer support program can help prevent issues like PTSD and depression.

Peer support and critical incident debriefing are resources available to make sure that firefighters and first responders are able to cope with the high levels of stress that come with the job. Peer Support Teams are an important part of the overall process of providing support to the firefighters who have experienced a critical incident (also called critical incident stress).

We also talk about the formation of the team, how it is deployed, how to set one up, and best practices in utilizing a peer support model.

Lt. Doug O'Rourke Profile Photo

Lt. Doug O'Rourke

Fire Lieutenant | Director, CT Firefighter PEER Support Network

Lieutenant Doug O’Rourke has been a member of the Hamden, CT Fire Department for 17 years, and is a United States Navy veteran. Doug is a part-time farmer, PEER Support Advocate, Director of Hamden’s PEER Support Team as well as Director for CT Firefighter PEER Support Network.