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National Volunteer Fire Council receives 2023 Power of Associations Gold Award for PHFD Initiative

group of  crystal trophies against purple background

group of crystal trophies against purple background

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WASHINGTON — The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) earned a Power of Associations Gold Award from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) for its successful Psychologically Healthy Fire Departments (PHFD) initiative.

Recognizing the unique challenges emergency responders face that can impact their behavioral health, the PHFD initiative aims to support responder well-being through several components:

  • The Directory of Behavioral Health Professionals provides a listing of vetted providers that are ready and equipped to help responders and their families with any behavioral health issue.
  • The PHFD: Implementation Toolkit assists department leaders in fostering well-being among their members through member involvement, health and safety, member growth and development, work-life balance, member recognition, and effective communications.
  • The Creating a Psychologically Healthy Fire Department training course is available online and in person to empower leadership to promote and support healthy, high-performing fire/EMS departments.

The PHFD initiative was developed in partnership with the American Psychological Association and the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance and is made possible thanks to a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It is designed to support firefighters and EMS providers and create healthy, successful departments.

“Congratulations to the NVFC for exemplifying the impact associations have on the industries and professions they represent, and on society at large,” said ASAE president and CEO Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE. “It’s always so incredibly satisfying to see associations going above and beyond their everyday mission to change the world. We’re very proud to spotlight this award-winning initiative.”

“We thank ASAE for this recognition of our PHFD initiative,” said NVFC chair Steve Hirsch. “The well-being of our nation’s firefighters, EMS providers, and rescue workers is a top priority for the NVFC. We are honored to be able to provide tools, resources, and training to support these heroes and help departments thrive.”

Learn more about the PHFD initiative and access resources at As of August 2023, departments can now pledge their commitment to creating a Psychologically Healthy Fire Department.

About the National Volunteer Fire Council

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, emergency medical, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides critical advocacy, resources, programs, and education for first responders across the nation. Learn more at

About The Power of Associations Awards

ASAE’s Power of Associations Awards recognize the associations’ economic and societal contributions locally, nationally, and globally. ASAE will celebrate The Power of Associations Award winners during its annual Summit Awards Dinner on September 28, 2023, at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.