NJ FMBA Peer Support Team Response to COVID-19


Dear NJ FMBA Member,

In light of the recent events in our country, around the world and now in our own back yard with COVID-19 and the recent Pandemic as well as the STAY AT HOME Executive Order by Governor Murphy, the FMBA clinical team would like to extend all of our thoughts and prayers to you and your families. We realize that we are in unchartered waters and stressful times. The enemy we are fighting cannot be seen and we are taking extraordinary measures to protect our citizens, members and our families. During such times, there is a significant amount of fear and worry surrounding the Coronavirus or COVID-19. Primarily because of the unknown factors associated with this virus. High levels of anxiety are not uncommon during periods of uncertainty. It is essential that you control what you can and stay grounded in reality based on facts and real evidence not fear. Reassurance is an important antidote to fear and uncertainty. Knowing that we will get through these challenging times stronger than before is the true definition of Resilience.


Because there are so many unknowns surrounding the Coronavirus it becomes difficult to feel emotionally and physically safe. In essence we are all struggling with not being in control. Remember, control gives us a sense of safety and reassurance. So what can you do to help reassure yourself that you are going to be okay? It is important to plan and prepare and not catastrophize the situation. There are some news stations that promote fear and worry. I would recommend that you limit your exposure to those news channels. We want to stay informed, we want to plan and not react.

As a service to our NJ FMBA members I would like to remind all of you of the current mental health services that are provided. Our clinical team of Dr. Michael Bizzarro (732.771.7165) and Dr.Julie Tropeano (732.977.3819) are available to conduct scheduled telephonic sessions during these difficult times. We recommend texting or calling to schedule telephonic sessions. (Emergencies bypass all protocols). Troy Powell (973.868.0527), our CISM Team Chair will continue to coordinate a telephonic response through our clinical team. Jim Keefe Peer Assistance Chairman (732.567.5414) and Tyrone Smith (973.573.9694) will continue to provide peer support to the membership and FMBA family. This is an added service to provide ongoing support while many of you continue to serve and protect the public at risk to yourselves and your families.

The leadership of the FMBA under the direction of President Ed Donnelly and Vice President Wayne Wolk continue to support you by encouraging members to reach out to our clinicians as well as members of our Peer Response Team.

In solidarity,

Dr. Michael Bizzarro

NJ FMBA Clinical Director


New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association