House Bill 703, which established the Office of Public Safety Support (OPSS), clearly defines a “Client” (those who are eligible to receive peer support services) as a Public Safety Officer. The bill goes on to define a Public Safety Officer as a peace officer, correctional officer, emergency health worker, firefighter, highway response operator, jail officer, juvenile correctional officer, probation officer, or emergency services dispatcher. The bill further provides that communications between a “Client” and a peer counselor shall be privileged.

The goal of OPSS is to offer such training to Public Safety Officers who wish to be able to provide emotional and/or psychological support to their fellow first responders. 

The basic concept of Peer Support is the idea of normalizing reactions through shared experiences; therefore, the focus is on training Public Safety Officers (as defined above) who have experienced traumatic events or critical incidents themselves and can help a fellow officer(s) in a time of need.

Students completing the training will receive 40-hours of P.O.S.T Credit, 24 General Education CEUs for EMS, or 24 Hours of State Fire Credit for Firefighters.

In FY 2025, OPSS will increase the number of Peer Counselor Certification Courses, with a class being offered in each of the seven regions. The course schedule will be updated as classes are finalized. See class schedule below.