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Family Assistance Centers
Family Assistance Center (FAC) operations provide a framework for providing family assistance following a mass casualty incident (MCI) or a mass fatality incident (MFI) . The provision of services and information to the family members of those killed, injured, or otherwise impacted by the incident are provided in a safe, confidential, and timely manner. FAC operations will occur in the immediate aftermath of a MCI/MFI, will be in close proximity to the event but not on scene, and may be a physical location or virtual support, or a combination of the two.
As part of the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) grant contract in fiscal year 2015-2016, the State Department of Public Health (DPH) tasked local health departments with a deliverable to “participate in the development of regional family assistance protocols as part of Mass Fatality Management planning.”
Local Health Departments/Districts, like the Naugatuck Valley Health District, along with public health, medical, and emergency management members of the Region 2 and Region 5 ESF #8 coalitions have developed regional Family Assistance Center plans and educational material for volunteers.
NVHD’s Director of Health, Jessica (Stelmaszek) Kristy, has served as the Joint Region 2 and 5 Family Assistance Center Subcommittee Chair since fiscal year 2016-2017.
In April 2018, Jessica and Brianna (former Preparedness Coordinator of the East Shore District Department of Health) were invited speakers at the National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO) Preparedness Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. The two presented on the cross-regional collaborative work on the development of the regional plans and volunteer training curriculum.
In December 2019, NVHD’s volunteer unit, the Naugatuck Valley Medical Reserve Corps, was awarded an Operational Readiness Award by NACCHO to enhance the Family Assistance Center Program and create a FAC Strike Team, NVMRC’s first specialized strike team!
During the COVID-19 pandemic, our partners at the American Red Cross launched the first known Virtual Family Assistance Center. To explore their website and learn more about these resources, please visit https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=virtual+FAC.
Please contact Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 203-881-3255 x117 if you are interested in learning more about the FAC Strike Team.
Resources for Response Partners
*Individual review may not satisfy Unit training needs. Please contact your Unit Leader regarding this training.
Additional Training Suggestions
- Psychological First Aid
- Mental Health First Aid
- Until Help Arrives
- Stop the Bleed
- ICS-100, IS-700, IS-300
Resources for Family Members
- FBI Victim Assistance Program
- FBI Coping after Terrorism for Survivors
- FBI Coping after Terrorism for Injured Survivors
- CT Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) FAQs
- ASPR TRACIE. (2018). Tips for Healthcare Facilities: Assisting Families and Loved Ones after a Mass Casualty Incident.
- Family Reunification Centers