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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 ]  




"A Gift to Ourselves. Pay it Forward"

Monday, June 2, 2014  I asked Tim Grutzius, a Fire Lieutenant from Alsip, Illinois, to share his story regarding his battle with PTSD. His story is like so many courageous firefighters who have been impacted by mental health challenges and are survivors. His story matches the theme of this page. Here is part of his blog posted with his permission. The title matches the intent of Chief Goldfeder’s book “Pass it On”!

Paying It Forward . . . A Gift to Ourselves and Humanity

By Tim Grutzius

     Pay it forward, one good turn deserves another, or pass it on.  No matter how you say it, giving without expecting anything in return is what the Aloha Spirit is all about.  The more we pay it forward, the better off humankind will become.

 ... [ more ]  




Trouble In Mind

Friday, May 23, 2014 


By Janet Wilmoth

May NFPA Journal


KYLE IENN WAS ONE OF THE NEW BREED OF FIRE CHIEFS. A 23-year member of the fire service, he led a progressive volunteer fire department in his hometown of Ralston, Nebraska, a suburb of Omaha. He was active on the state and national level with the Nebraska Fire Chiefs Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Volunteer Combination Officers Section. He served the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s “Everyone Goes Home®” program, an initiative to prevent firefighter line-of-duty deaths and injuries. ... [ more ]  




Rescuing Firefighters

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 

Rescuing Firefighters from Post Traumatic Stress

The Fire Product Search team wanted to find out more about the specialist support offered to firefighters, who face very distressing incidents throughout their career. We spoke to Vanessa Davies, a Psychological Therapist who works closely with Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service. Her role includes treating firefighters suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and coordinating post incident psychological support.

What are the some of the most psychologically challenging examples of incidents that firefighters deal with and why?

An incident that is psychologically challenging generally will be one that involves the firefighter feeling helpless in some way.... [ more ]  




PTSD Quietly Taking It's Toll

Tuesday, May 20, 2014   




PTSD Taking Its Toll

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 

PTSD, like cancer, is quietly killing firefighters


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and other mental illnesses are not signs of weak or immoral firefighters; they are job-related illnesses that require treatment

By Rick Markley, FR1 Editor-in-chief

One of the marks of good writing is the level of authenticity that comes through the piece. And Kelly Grayson's column is about as authentic as you can get.

If you missed it, Grayson courageously discusses his own battle with depression. It is difficult enough to admit your problems to yourself, let alone share them with hundreds of thousands of readers.

more ]  




A True Personal Survival

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 

True confessions of a clinically depressed medic

Here I am, naked and exposed in a public forum, making a confession that, quite frankly, scares the crap out of me: Hi, I’m Kelly, and I suffer from depression

By Kelly Grayson

It was a couple of months after my wife left me that I asked a trusted doctor friend a hypothetical question.

“Jalal,” I asked, ”if you had a patient who told you he worked all the time, and slept 19 hours a day on his days off, and barely got out of bed until it was time to go back to work, and had no appetite and felt tired all the time, what would you say was wrong with him?"

"I'd tell that pati... [ more ]  




Free Confidential Hot Line Offered

Monday, May 19, 2014 

NVFC Launches Firefighter and EMS Behavioral Health Program


if (gigya) { var pwfeGigya = new PWFE.Gigya(); var ua = new gigya.socialize.UserAction(); ua.setLinkBack(" [ more ]  




Designed to Make You Think

Friday, May 16, 2014 

Below is an article whose title alone evokes emotion. I know it did for me. Emotions are healthy when used constructively. In my opinion they are God’s gift to engage your brain. Bill Carey has written about this subject which is what inspired this Personal Survival page, mental health challenges in general and suicide in particular.

Personally I do not agree with all that Mr. Carey states in the article. In particular I do believe that some suicides are the direct result of our profession, either because of our culture of silence and denial that leads to no intervention when faced with mental illness or our high and repetitive exposures to traumatic situations or both.

That difference of opinion... [ more ]  





Wednesday, May 7, 2014  Some in the firefighting service say that despite their image of stoicism in the face of danger, it only masks a dark secret -- that firefighters themselves endure intense emotional turmoil, and that some take their own lives, unable to cope with that pain. NBC 5's Phil Rogers reports.

Follow us: @nbcchicago on Twitter | nbcchicago on Facebook





Critical Incident Management & K-9 Comfort Dog

Wednesday, April 30, 2014  By Gary Bettenhausen

April 30, 2014

By way of introduction I am the Bureau Chief of EMS with the Oak Lawn Fire Department in Oak Lawn, Illinois. I began my career in 1987, as an Emergency Room (ER) Nurse & volunteer firefighter. In 1993 I switched to full time firefighting and continued to work in local ER' s. I was promoted to my current rank December 2012.    

We all cope so very differently, with the horrific things we see on fire and ems scenes.  I have been involved in the fire service and worked in an Emergency Room, since 1987.  In my years I have seen many wonderful, and many terrible things.  I have also seen firefighters cope, and others literally walk away shortly after a difficult call.

How many have heard "Police, Fire & EMS are a different breed."  Looking at our Department, we have a varied ethnic, racial, and spiritual belief system.  So how does an Officer ... [ more ]  




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100% of the royalties from the sales of "PASS IT ON" will be donated to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Chief Ray Downey Scholarship Fund.