enforcement members to our Florian Advisory
Committee to help lead and guide us through the
What’s great about Rosecrance is the staff is also
reevaluating programs to make sure they’re the
most effective they can be for clients. We’re looking
to add more relapse prevention education because
many of our clients return to work and environments of stress and trauma.
We’re also planning the second Rosecrance Flo-
rian Symposium, which will take place in fall 2017.
Roden: How does Rosecrance Florian measure
its successes, and are you able to give examples or
DeGryse: The Rosecrance Florian Program has
served 110 clients from more than 85 fire departments and 12 states since August 2014. Those
clients have included active and retired firefighters,
paramedics, and other fire service personnel.
About 85 percent of clients successfully completed treatment. About 70 percent of clients who
can work return to work (some are unable to return
to work because of injuries, some have been terminated, and others are retired).
Comprehensive, personalized discharge planning
takes place at the completion of clients’ residential
treatment stay to ensure they receive continued
services as needed, either at Rosecrance and/or in
their respective communities. I have worked hard
to become a trusted ally of clients because of my
extensive history in the fire service and clinical
training, and I am a resource for them after they
leave residential treatment.
The Florian Program’s management team (listed
below) is responsible for evaluating its success:
• Dan DeGryse, program director.
• Kerry Larson, unit coordinator.
• Erica Gilmore, primary counselor.
• Craig Stallings, Rosecrance Harrison campus administrator. He oversees all residential
programming for adult services, including the
Rosecrance Florian Program.
• Dr. Raymond Garcia, Rosecrance Harrison
Campus medical director. He is a board-cer-tified psychiatrist and addictionologist who is
trained and experienced in treating firefighters
and paramedics for cooccurring disorders.
To ensure the highest level of care, all Florian staff
participate in regular cultural awareness training
so they can better understand the physical and
emotional nature of the fire service. That training
includes suiting up in full firefighter gear and doing
drills under the supervision of the Rockford Fire
Department, whose fire chief serves on the Florian
The fire service community engages regularly
through social media, so Florian has dedicated
Facebook and Twitter accounts that share program
information, outreach and education opportunities,
and video testimonials.
A Chicago firefighter and Rosecrance alumnus
embraced the camaraderie and brotherhood in the
Florian Program. Social drinking with the guys had
turned into isolated drinking to numb the pain he
experienced from seeing tragedy every day on the
job. After addressing his alcoholism, he returned
to work but was hit with a major back injury that
resulted in surgery and chronic pain. He was only
33, but the simple act of playing with his children left him in agony. Doctors prescribed pain
medications, but he knew use could quickly turn
into abuse. He was depressed, and his sobriety was
in serious danger. So, he came back to Rosecrance,
and staff encouraged him to stay.
“I wasn’t there again because I was abusing
alcohol,” he recalled. “I was there because the
Florian Program would save my life again. The
discussions, the walks around the track, the
meetings, the meals outside, the brotherhood—all
of these things brought me up, put my head on
right, and brought me back to who I am. And no
Contact Dan DeGryse at 815-387-2461, 312-
833-0196, or email@example.com for more
Erich Roden is a 24-year veteran of the fire service and a battalion chief with the Milwaukee (WI) Fire Department. He is the
editor in chief of FireRescue.
Bobby Halton, Fire Engineering editor in chief, speaks at the first Rosecrance Florian Symposium,
which took place in 2016 over three days near Chicago, bringing together clinical experts and fire
service leaders from across the country to speak about behavioral health within the fire service.
(Photo by Ethan Loomis.)