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Peer Support

Peer Support

The goal of the FireCare & SES Peer Support Networks is to promote staff well-being and act as a conduit to professional services if required

Peer Support is an integral part of the Fire & Emergency Services Support Network service.

  • Peer Support Officers are selected staff specifically trained to assist and support fellow workers with either work related or personal difficulties.
  • Peer Support Officers are carefully selected on the basis of trust, integrity and a genuine interest in the health and wellbeing of fellow workers.

The Peer Support Officer’s Role

Peer Support Officers provide:

  • One-on-one support and group support sessions after a critical incident
  • Understanding and acceptance of feelings and experiences
  • Referral to professional counselling, if required

Peer Support Officers are NOT counsellors and are not trained to give psychological advice.  Rather, by listening well, they can give you the opportunity to unpack your concerns and make decisions for yourself.  They may be able to offer practical support or if appropriate, they may link you into professional counselling.

Each Peer Support Officer and all workplaces in every region have a list of external counsellors registered with the Fire & Emergency Services Support Network to provide services throughout Queensland.

For more information refer to:

If you are seeking professional counselling support, please see the Counsellors page

Critical Incident Response & Management

Peer Support Officers are often involved when an event of high emotional impact arises or operational demands are unusually high. In these situations PSOs may:

  • Work with leaders to evaluate the need for Critical Incident Response & Management (CIRM) intervention
  • Provide individual or group support sessions to help reduce the initial stress of an incident and promote healthy coping strategies
  • Liaise closely with professional Fire & Emergency Services Support Network Counsellors to arrange further assistance such as individual counselling


Peer Support Officers adhere to strict confidentiality in all interactions with fellow workers. To this end, Peer Support Officers sign a Statement of Agreement and a Code of Ethics, binding them to the guidelines, policies and procedures of Fire & Emergency Services Support Network, which are in accordance with the DES Privacy Policy Statement (refer section 15.6 of the DES Financial Management Practices Manual)
Personal information about staff and volunteers gained through their roles as PSOs may only be revealed when:

  • It is a legal requirement to disclose information
  • Failure to disclose information would place the client or another person at risk of harm
  • The member’s written consent has been obtained to release the information to another person or agency

Who can contact a Peer Support Officer?

Any QFES staff member or volunteer or their immediate family experiencing personal or work-related problems.

This includes Fire & Rescue staff, Auxiliary Firefighters, Rural Fire Volunteers, SES Volunteers and all QFES administrative, technical or professional staff.

Fire & Emergency Services Support Network considers immediate family to include a person’s spouse/de facto and children.

When should I seek help?

You should seek help from a Peer Support Officer or Fire & Emergency Services Support Network Counsellor if you notice:

  • The way you feel is getting in the way of living the life you would like to lead
  • An increase in your alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use
  • Any decline in the quality of your relationships with others
  • A an unwelcome change of behaviour that has negative consequences for you

Are you interested in becoming a Peer Support Officer?

If you are an employee or volunteer of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and possess the necessary Personal Qualities, then you may be eligible to become a Peer Support Officer.  An Application Form can be downloaded, completed and returned to the Fire & Emergency Services Support Network office –

There are several steps in the application process that will assist you and the FESSN Management Team to determine if you are the right fit for the this volunteer position.  The final decision however, rests with the Coordinator Peer Support Programs, Fire & Emergency Services Support Network.

To become a Peer Support Officer an applicant must successfully complete the selection process (this includes the induction course), and a probation period.

For more information refer to the PSO Information Kit​

We collect your personal information (e.g. email address details) to address your matter and will only disclose it to third parties if authorised by law or with your consent. To find out further information, please refer to our privacy statement.