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Phoenix Fire Department sees an alarming trend in suicides

Fox 10 Phoenix Video

Tuesday, February 2, 2016  Firefighters train to be physically strong and more recently, Phoenix firefighters are also getting new training on how to be mentally strong, as well."In 2010, we had four suicides in a really short period of time," said Phoenix Fire Capt. Ray Maione said.

Since then, Capt. Ray Maione says more than eight more of his brothers went on to end their own lives. Coping with the nature of their jobs, the sheer volume of calls, the high stress and lack of sleep all take its toll.

"When the average citizen is sleeping, we're up dealing with all kinds of problems," Capt. Maione said. "You can go from a fire to saving a baby in a house, to a baby drowning, to an older person having a heart attack. You never know what you're going to see on a daily basis."

It's not something firefighters can easily talk about, let alone admit is a problem.

"In the past, it's always been something you just kept pushing to the side," Capt. Maione said. "Now, we train ... [ more ]  




Minnesota Firefighter Encourages Speaking Out On Suicide

Saturday, January 23, 2016  MN firefighter says start talking about suicide and PTSD after trying to kill himself

January 22, 2016

FRAZEE, MN - A Frazee, Minnesota volunteer firefighter says people need to start talking about suicide, depression and PTSD.

Scott Geiselhart began speaking out after he tried to kill himself.

"I lost a lot, but I gained my life, you know, and for the first time in my whole life I am alive," says Scott. "We went on quite a few car accidents about 15 years ago. And we haven't had, thank god, too many lately, fatalities and bad ones."

The challenges of the job started to get to h... [ more ]  




Fire Chief Father's Suicide

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 

How my fire chief father's suicide changed my life

Dec 21, 2015

By Andrew Puckett

Firefighter Andrew Puckett's life turned upside down when his father ended his life in 1999; he now tries to live in the moment and help fellow firefighters with depression

Has there been a specific event in your life that made you the person you. I was born into a family of firefighters and public servants. My story began before I was even born.

more ]  




Female Firefighter Died by Suicide

Monday, December 28, 2015  Coroner: Female firefighter, 24, died by suicideThe forensic investigation into the death of Chelsea Michalesko concluded she died from a self-inflicted gunshot woundToday at 12:17 PM

By FireRescue1 Staff

CARBON COUNTY, Pa. — The March 21 death of firefighter/EMT Chelsea Michalesko, 24, was determined to be a suicide.

The findings of the eight-month forensic investigation were released in late November and reported in the Standard-Speaker.

The coroner's office concluded that Michalesko, who worked at Carbon County 911, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Officials from Jim Thorpe police, Carbon County District Attorney's office, the coroner's office and the state police Bureau of Forensic Service conducted the extensive investigation.

Firefighter Chelsea Michalesko (Courtesy photo)

more ]  




Suicide a Reality in the Fire Service

Friday, December 18, 2015  Suicide Is a Reality in the Fire Service


By P.J. Norwood and Jim Rascati

During a recent two month period in 2015, two firefighters killed themselves in Connecticut. These are tragic events that severely impact the firefighter’s family and friends as well as his extended family of brother and sister firefighters. There are no words to adequately describe the shock and surprise of firefighters when they are informed of these horrific events.

Suicide for first responders--both firefighters and police--is a significant problem not just here in Connecticut but nationally. Understandably, it ... [ more ]  




Kansas City Firefighter Commits Suicide

Thursday, December 17, 2015 

Kansas City firefighter commits suicide outside fire station

Posted: Wednesday, 16 December 2015

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Kansas City firefighter took his life outside a fire station near 34th and The Paseo this morning.  

According to Kansas City Police, officers were called to investigate the sound of shots fired at 8:44 a.m. today outside Fire Station No. 17 in the 3400 block of Paseo.

When officers arrived, they found a person dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Paseo Boulevard was closed from Armour Boulevard to 33rd Street to facilitate the investigation.

The city released a statement from the fire chief, the mayor and city manager saying: "... [ more ]  




Opening Up About Behavioral Health

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 

Opening Up About Behavioral Health

By Jeremy Hurd
Published Sunday, November 1, 2015 | From the November 2015 Issue of FireRescue

Any individual who wants to excel in his career will pursue training that is on the cutting edge of the industry. Keeping all our brothers and sisters safe has always been the purpose of training, and we all dedicate blood, sweat, time, and finances to reach that goal. We strive to make that difference in stopping the needless deaths within our own firefighting community. When approximately 100 of our brothers and sisters perish every year, we each say, “Never again.”

more ]  





WSMV Video

Saturday, November 7, 2015  A Nashville firefighter who saved countless lives over the past 20 years recently discovered the one person he couldn’t save was himself.Tracey Fortner shot himself in the head, yet somehow managed to survive.

Doctors said the fact that Fortner is alive today defies all logic. He should be dead, but instead was barely injured.

Fortner said the miracle has inspired him to use his new lease on life to help others battling severe depression.

The walls of Tracy and Chrysty Fortner’s home are lined with photos of what most would describe as a beautiful life.

The firefighter won over his wife during a ride-along 18 years ago.

“At the moment I said, ‘I love this man. I love everything about him.’ And the rest is history,” Chrysty Fortner said.

That history gradually began to take a dark turn two years ago. Slowly, the couple’s smiles vanished.

“I found myself in a deep, dark hole of depression that... [ more ]  




Spokane Fire Department Takes On Mental Health Challenge

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 

Spokane Fire takes on Mental Health

by Gabe Cohen, KHQ Local News Reporter

SPOKANE, Wash. - October 27, 2015

The Spokane Fire Department is used to battling blazes and saving homes on a daily basis. It’s what they do. But mental health has often been an issue swept under the rug by first responders.

“People were ostracized,” Assistant Chief Brian Schaeffer said. “We wanted to change things.”

Fire departments around the country are beginning to see a spike in cases of Post Traumatic Stress and even suicides within their departments. Some have called it an epidemic.

So one ye... [ more ]  




Australian Firefighter Speaks on Firefighter's Staying Mentally Healthy

Monday, October 26, 2015 

The importance of staying mentally healthy as a firefighter

By Tara Lal

I’ve been a firefighter for over 10 years now. As time has passed I’ve become increasingly aware that maintaining and caring for our mental health can protect us from the effects of trauma that we’re often exposed to in this line of work. Building mental resilience may even enable us to experience post-traumatic growth – the positive psychological changes that can occur as a result of facing adversity.

As firefighters, the nature of our job means that we never know exactly what the next traumatic event will be or when it will occur. So, how d... [ more ]  




Fire Departments Addressing PTSD

Thursday, October 22, 2015  How Fire Departments are Addressing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

 by Pat Morrison On Oct 21, 2015

A 20-year veteran firefighter at an urban fire department, John Smith had responded to every kind of imaginable—and unimaginable—emergency incident over the course of his career. As a firefighter, Smith sees people on their worst days, and the incidents he responds to on a daily basis can be truly horrific.

But it wasn’t until he saw a fellow firefighter fall through the floor of a burning home to his death that the trauma stayed with him, and it seemed it would never get out of his mind. At the most unexpected times, he would relive the tragedy or hear his brother call for help. Every call became a stressful experience, even the most routine.

<... [ more ]  




UK Firefighter Takes His life

Monday, October 19, 2015 

On-duty fireman found hanged at station where he worked by night shift colleagues

By Neal Keeling  October 18, 2015

An on-duty fireman has been found hanged at the station where he worked.

Lee Gaunt, 41, was found by colleagues at Stalybridge Fire Station in Greater Manchester in the early hours of this morning. more ]  




Oregon First Responders Traumatized

Friday, October 9, 2015  Oregon shooting carnage traumatizes first responders, deputy fire chief says

By Everton Bailey Jr.  The Oregonian/Oregon Live

Several of the rural firefighters and paramedics who first confronted the carnage at Umpqua Community College haven't returned to work yet or else they've tried to return only to request time off. Some can't shake the smells and sounds they encountered in classroom 15 in Snyder Hall last Thursday.

One described having to help move a lifeless body to get to someone who was still alive, said Rob Bullock, deputy fire chief of Douglas County Fire District 2. One firefighter lost a son and a paramedic lost a niece in the massacr... [ more ]  




Ignorance About Suicide Continues

Friday, October 9, 2015  If you want an example of how suicide is still looked at through the prism of ignorance and the attached stigma read this article. An opportunity to educate and help healing begin turns in to an act of defiance? "Glorification" really? Draw your own conclusions and more importantly get involved in your own departments and communities.

Chief Patrick J. Kenny

 October 7, 2015

Suicide: Indiana High School Refuses Moment of Silence For Victim, Claims Glorification Of Suicide

By Essel Pratt

A Northern Indiana high school is under fire by the student population for refusing to offer a momen... [ more ]  




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