They routinely run toward trouble when others are running away but their job often takes a toll on their mental and physical health.
Challenging stigmas, increasing awareness, improving screenings and expanding resources will improve this crisis.
Heart attacks are the #1 killer of firefighters too. Their chronic stress elevates cortisol levels and leads to an increased risk for heart disease.
Lifestyle changes can stop this trend and screening veteran responders will identify those currently at risk.
Long-term exposure to death and destruction can lead to severe depression – some see suicide as the only escape from their pain.
Increased access to resiliency training, peer support and tailored mental wellness resources saves lives.
Repeatedly responding to traumatic events leads to an elevated risk of stress injuries that, left untreated, can lead to post-traumatic stress.
Identifying and addressing stressors early deters escalation and allows for the return to a healthy state.
24/7 shifts lead to family sacrifices and they can also bring too much of the job home or withdrawal so they don’t have to discuss their day.
Family support services improves the wellbeing of loved ones and keeps healthy relationships thriving.
Many people around the country are working on solutions to support our First Responders to combat these alarming issues and statistics. Our aim is to break down the geographical, organizational and funding silos while facilitating progressive and supportive collaborations to bring results more swiftly.
Helping others is natural, helping themselves can be a challenge.
When there is a desire for support, it is often not available.
They signed up to help others, they didn’t realize everything else that comes along with the job.
I’ll be brutally honest: This job isn’t for everyone, but it’s very fulfilling. Not every career gives you the chance to help someone in need. You will have good days and some not so good days. It takes a tough-skinned person not to let some of the grueling calls get to you. However, we are all human, so that will happen from time to time. That’s when you have to be strong enough to ask for and/or get help.
I’ve seen more homicides, suicides and child deaths than I ever wanted to see. For every horrific sight I encounter, I try to bring positive thoughts into my world.
I once tried to guess how many dead people I have stood over in the years I was an EMT and paramedic.
I guess it to be about 800.