By Keith Ridler, Associated Press:
Federal officials at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise have started making efforts to change that mindset after noticing an increase in wildland firefighter suicides in recent years.
“It’s not a profession where people want to reach out for help because they are the help,” said Jessica Gardetto, a fire center spokeswoman and former wildland firefighter. “The federal agencies have realized, whether it’s suicidal tendencies or just overall mental health, it’s a resource that needs to be available — even out on the fire lines.”
No figures on wildland firefighter suicides are available because federal agencies often track only fatalities that occur during work hours, and families don’t always release a cause of death.
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