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Friday, September 12, 2014 

September 9, 2014


Brentwood TN – Serve & Protect and Hope AACR are pleased to announce a collaborative partnership to maximize our commitment serving law enforcement and emergency services.

 Serve & Protect exists to provide crisis line, chaplain, and trauma therapist services for law enforcement, fire/rescue/ems, dispatch, and corrections. Their goal is to address emotional and spiritual trauma that confronts these heroes whether a single trauma or cumulative trauma. Their crisis line partner, Safe Call Now assesses calls and facilitates residential care or similar treatment or refers to Serve & Protect to facilitate chaplain, recovery, and trauma therapist services in the caller’s community.

 “We are always vigilant for additional and unique ways we can help those we serve... [ more ]  




Firefighter Runs to Honor 9-11 Heroes as well as to bring attention to Suicide Prevention Month

Friday, September 12, 2014 

By Anastasia Dawson | Tribune Staff
Published: September 11, 2014

CLEARWATER — Fire and Rescue Lt. Mark Wing cut a haunting figure Thursday morning, running across Clearwater Beach in full firefighter gear, hoisting an American flag high above his head in the morning humidity.

Around 9 a.m., Wing set out running from Fire Station 44 on Sand Key to Station 46 on Clearwater Beach to Station 49 by Clearwater Mall at U.S. 19 and Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard. His 11-mile journey, dubbed “11 on the 11th,” took more than four hours to complete, but ... [ more ]  




Observe National Suicide Prevention Week September 8-14

Friday, September 5, 2014 

2014 National Suicide Prevention Week media and information kit now available

From September 8-14, schools, mental health providers, faith congregations, businesses, and others will hold outreach and awareness events for suicide prevention across the United States.

Please think about getting involved in your department in some way as it impacts all of the fire service.

To participate, download a media and information kit at from the American Association of Suicidology.

<... [ more ]  




Senator Supports AFG Intiative for Mental Health Training

Friday, August 22, 2014 



[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance, announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has awarded a $23,750 grant to the Palatine, Illinois non-profit. Today’s funding will help support the group’s work in providing suicide awareness and prevention workshops for fire departments and firefighters in Illinois and around the country.

"Firefighters and first-responders help members of our communities when crises occur, and often times they encounter bot... [ more ]  




Cutting the Onion on Firefighter Suicide

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 

Cutting the Onion on Firefighter Depression and Suicide


 F.I.R.E.S. Within (Firefighter Increased Risk Exposure to Suicide)
by Shannon Pennington
North American Fire Fighter Veteran Network

This is not a pretty subject to even mention in a fire house or around the kitchen table unless it is about the civilian death or attempt that took place on a shift recently. Why is it that we can do the  post-mortem discussion around the table on them, but when it comes to us we clam up? All who read thi... [ more ]  




Robin Williams Death an Opportunity?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014  Robin William’s death, while not a firefighter, evokes similar feelings of “no not him”. Below is a blog I came across through the Illinois Suicide Prevention Alliance members and stakeholders, on talking about suicide and Robin Williams’ death. 

It reminds us to be cautious about what we say, for there are people near us who are struggling with their own thoughts of suicide and may apply your comments to their situation.  Remember those who have lost a loved one to suicide are also around us.  The blog also encourages us to avoid making assumptions and not to let stigma prevent us from talking about suicide and mental health.  I found this blog to be very articulate and believe you will find it be very informative.

more ]  





Tuesday, August 5, 2014  Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. There are no national statistics kept for firefighter suicides. But in the last 10 years, four Kansas City firefighters have committed suicide. This month the fire department will launch a new program aimed at ending suicides.

Dr. Richard Gist, principal assistant to the fire chief, is the public health psychologist with the KCFD.

The program is called ACT.

"It stands for 'Ask, Care and Take,'" Gist explained. "Ask what's going on with someone and if they are thinking about hurting themselves."

Care is about showing a person that you care about them. Take stands for taking that person to a place where they can get help if you determine they need help.

Niko Cruz, a 23-year veteran with the Kansas City Fire Department, committed suicide on July 27. He was buried last Saturday.

He is survived by four children and one grandchild. His oldest daught... [ more ]  




Brad Symes's family links Edmonton firefighter's suicide to PTSD Video

Tuesday, August 5, 2014  At the end of July, 38-year-old Edmonton firefighter Brad Symes took his life, leaving behind his wife of seven months, two young boys, loving parents and countless friends — and his family is linking his death to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).     

1 of 8

Symes was a firefighter for 13 years, following in his father’s footsteps.

Stan Symes retired as the district fire chief in Edmonton after 35 years on the job. While he worked as a first responder, he found it helpful to confide in his wife, Char. 

Brad Symes often called his parents to talk about his job and the things he witnessed.

“Lots of times he would just call... [ more ]  




In the Future Could a Blood Test be a predictor of Suicide?

Thursday, July 31, 2014 

Could a blood test predict suicides?

By Matthew Stucker and John Bonifield CNN

Experimental test over 80 percent accurate

 UPDATED 8:59 PM EDT Jul 30, 2014


(CNN) —Approximately 36,000 deaths are caused by suicide each year in the United States. What if a simple blood test could one day help prevent that from happening?

In a new small study, researchers were able to predict who had experienced suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide just by looking at their blood.... [ more ]  




Canadian Emergency Workers See Increased Suicide Numbers

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 

Police, fire and ambulance personnel face high PTSD rates

At least 15 first responders have reportedly died by suicide across Canada since April 28

The Canadian Press

July 27, 2014

WINNIPEG – Alex Forrest clearly remembers what happened to a fellow firefighter who was traumatized by the deaths of two captains in a house fire.

It was two months after the Winnipeg blaze in 2007 that killed Tom Nichols and Harold Lessard, and Forrest knew... [ more ]  




Police, fire and ambulance personnel face high PTSD rates

Monday, July 28, 2014  Alex Forrest clearly remembers what happened to a fellow firefighter who was traumatized by the deaths of two captains in a house fire.

It was two months after the Winnipeg blaze in 2007 that killed Tom Nichols and Harold Lessard, and Forrest knew his colleague was having a hard time coping.

“I checked up on him and he had killed himself in a garage, and he was holding the pamphlet from the memorial,” Forrest, head of the Winnipeg firefighters union, recalled last week.

“Many of the firefighters are still suffering the effects of that fire.”

Forrest is one of many emergency responders across the country, including police officers and ambulance crews, who are fighting for better treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

He says the condition has been around a long time — he remembers early in his career 25 years ago when one firefighter committed suicide — but people are more willing to tal... [ more ]  




San Francisco Firefighters Seek More Mental Health Funding

Monday, July 14, 2014 

SF firefighters still seeking more funding for mental health services

by Chris Roberts @cbloggy | July 13, 2014

When the toils of the job become too intense, San Francisco police can take advantage of in-house mental health services to help cope with stress before it escalates into something much worse.

Firefighters in The City want the same treatment but are being rebuffed -- there is no room for a $100,000 program in the department's $344 million annual budget.

more ]  




Suicide and First Responders’ Role – issue paper released

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 

July 1, 2014

 The Illinois Department of Public Health is pleased to release an issue paper entitled Suicide and First Responders’ Role.  In collaboration with the Illinois Suicide Prevention Alliance, the paper was developed to address the role first responders have in suicide prevention. 

 This group includes, but is not limited to firefighters, police officers, EMTs, paramedics and emergency department personnel.&nb... [ more ]  




Lone Survivor of Granite Mountain Hotshots Speaks

Monday, June 30, 2014 

Lone survivor of Granite Mountain Hotshots speaks about how he wants to make a difference

By Navideh Forghani


PRESCOTT, AZ - The Lone Survivor and the Granite Mountain Hotshot number 20 are two of the nicknames that Brendan McDonough received after he survived and 19 of his hotshot brothers perished in the Yarnell Hill wildfire.

McDonough continues to cope and deal with the reality that he lost 19 brothers last June and that he was the only one to survive that fateful day.

It's a tragedy th... [ more ]  




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