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Charleston Firefighter Shares PTSD Story

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 

Former Charleston firefighter shares story of PTSD after Sofa Super Store fire

Posted: Jun 16, 2015 3:28 PM CDT  Updated: Jun 16, 2015 5:04 PM CDT

CHARLESTON, SC - Thursday marks the eighth anniversary of the furniture store fire that killed nine Charleston firefighters.  One firefighter who survived the fire, and watched as the building collapse on his brothers, spent years fighting another battle against Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Travis Howze says his nightmare began when he volunteered to recover the bodies. "It does make me proud to know that I volunteered to go in and bring them out,” Howze says, “although that one decision in my life haunts me more than anything.”

Nearly ei... [ more ]  




City's Mental Health Efforts Fall Short

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 

 Fired firefighter: City's mental health efforts fall short

BY John Hult, 11:39 p.m. CDT June 6, 2015

In hindsight, Patrick Warren's implosion was years in the making. In 2011, Warren was a respected division chief at Sioux Falls Fire Rescue, known for administrative skill and a rational management style.

He... [ more ]  




Trauma Takes a Toll on First Responders

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 

Matters Of The Mind: Trauma Takes A Toll On First Responders

By Bree Sison, WBZ-TVJune 8, 2015 5:00 AM

BOSTON (CBS) – One-third of firefighters, police officers and emergency medical workers exposed to a traumatic call will be profoundly and deeply affected by what they’ve seen, according to research from Massachusetts first responder advocates.

For Hayden Duggan of Westminster, the call that changed the path of his career was a house fire in the 1980’s where a 12-year-old girl was said to be trapped on the second floor.

Read: More Matters Of The Mind

“We ... [ more ]  




Union Concerned About Firefighter's Suicides

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 

 Firefighter's union concerned about suicides

Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2015 3:00 am

Larry Miller Tribune Staff Writer The Philadelphia Tribune

The local firefighter’s union president is concerned about an alarming trend in his ranks.

Three of his members have committed suicide since December. International Association of Firefighters Local 22 president Joe Schulle said the latest are only the most recent.

“There have been seven suicides over the last four years,” he said. “It’s a serious problem and obviously one where there are a lot of issues that co... [ more ]  




Can We Talk?

Friday, May 29, 2015 

How do you deal with emotional problems? The range of options is as varied as the problems and personalities involved.

When something has you bogged down, do you find a good friend and talk it through or do you keep to yourself? Everyone has their own way of dealing with life’s bigger issues. Some find relief through exercise or other physical activities. Others need someone to talk to, while others—me included--will take pen to paper and write out their thoughts and feelings.

On the opposite end of the scale, are those that keep their problems to themselves. Maybe it’s not their nature to talk about what’s bothering them or maybe they are fear the reaction or the repercussions.

more ]  




Houston Firefighter Murder/Suicide

Friday, May 22, 2015 

 HPD: Firefighter fatally stabbed girlfriend, hanged self

KHOU Staff, 9:45 a.m. CDT May 22, 2015

HOUSTON -- A Houston firefighter has died in an apparent murder-suicide, according to the Houston Police Department.

The bodies of a man and woman were found before 7 p.m. Thursday at a Lake Houston-area home on Lake Prince Lane near Smith Lake Lane. Family members went to check on the couple because the female victim had not picked up her daughter earlier in the day.more ]  




Advice for Your Teen With Mental Health Challenges

Friday, May 8, 2015 

Project UROK teaches teens how to talk about anxiety and mental illness

By Matt Petronzio

Mara Wilson, writer and performer who made her name as a child actress in Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire, is sitting in front of a gray screen, hair gathered in a messy bun, wearing a sweatshirt with a stylized cat face on it and a big blue pin that says "UROK." In a casual tone that previous generations could never have conjured for such personal subjects, she is talking about anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and the arc of her life from "anxious kid" to "anxious adult."

"I wish somebody had told me it's OK to be anxiou... [ more ]  




Responding to Your Own Mental Health

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 

Responding to Your Own Mental Health

By Mark Lamplugh

A firefighter’s job is unlike any other. We wear our pride and dedication to our careers on our sleeves, on the windows of our cars, tattooed on our bodies. All my life growing up I wanted to be involved in the fire service. It helped that my dad, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all firefighters – not to mention my uncle and two cousins. I really didn’t have much of a choice. I remember walking into the engine room, running up and ringing the bell on t... [ more ]  




What if it's not PTSD?

Thursday, April 23, 2015   

When is it not Post Traumatic Stress Disorder???

April 24, 2015

National statistics report that six out of every ten males and five out of every ten females will experience a serious, traumatic event in their lives. Although the trauma may be painful to experience, not every person who goes through a trauma will develop PTSD. Statistics also say that only 7-8% of these people will develop PTSD.   That is a relatively low number in the general population. The exact statistics of how many first responders develop PTSD is not known but to compare, it is estimated that 30% of Vietnam veterans developed the disorder.  It certainly does occur and is painful and devastating when it does occur but there is also a phenomena that occurs where people simply assume that since the individual has been through ... [ more ]  




Change Initiative Released

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 

National Safety Culture Change Initiative Released

by Susan Nicol On Apr 7, 2015
Source: News

When fire officials discuss what needs to happen to reduce the number of firefighter injuries and deaths, one thing is always in the forefront – the need for a cultural change.

That was front and center not only when the Life Safety Initiatives were created 11 years ago, but again when they were discussed last March during the Tampa 2 Summit.

“U.S. society as a whole may contribute to the risk behaviors that are demonstrated within the fire service. Comm... [ more ]  




Volunteer Firefighter Lost to Suicide

Monday, March 23, 2015 

Southeast Ohio Volunteer Firefighter Shooting Ruled Suicide

Monday March 23, 2015 10:54 AM

WBNS-10TV Columbus Ohio

ATHENS, Ohio - The Athens Sheriff's Office says a firefighter is dead after committing suicide this morning.

Investigators have determined that it was a self-inflicted wound that killed the 47-year-old. The man was a volunteer firefighter with the Jacksonville Volunteer Fire Department. The shooting took place near the fire station on South 6th Street in Jacksonville.

For more information go to: more ]  




New Mexico FD's PSA Regarding Preventing Suicide

Monday, March 16, 2015 

N.M. Department Produces PSA to Prevent Firefighter Suicide

By Patrick Lohmann

Source: Albuquerque Journal, N.M.     

March 14--The Sandoval County Fire Department lead chaplain is trying to get out in front of some troubling statistics by organizing the creation of a commercial that aims to prevent firefighter suicide, post-traumatic stress and other burdens that she said are commonplace among emergency responders.

At least two Sandoval County firefighters ha... [ more ]  




Mental Fitness is Everyone's Job.

Monday, March 16, 2015 

 NFFF: Making Sure Firefighters are Mentally Fit is Everyone's Job


BALTIMORE, MD – One size doesn’t fit all.

That theme surfaced repeatedly this past weekend as fire officials discussed how to assist their personnel with the mental stresses of their jobs. Consultants with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation explained not only their research findings, but presented a host of ideas to keep responders mentally fit.

A conference to roll out programs for Initiative 13 was funded in part by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and an AFG grant. Psychological support needs to be part of the daily regime just as time at the gym, said Dr. Richard Gist... [ more ]  




Suicide in the Ranks

Friday, March 6, 2015  Suicide in the Ranks: Firefighters Moving in the Right Direction

March 4, 2015

By Mark Lamplugh

“Mike was one of my best firefighters – a veteran of more than 20 years – one of those guys a chief can count on to get the job done. Rarely was there a structure fire, a rescue, or an auto extrication at which Mike wasn’t elbow-deep in the job at hand.”

Those are the words of Longmeadow Massachusetts fire chief, Eric H. Madison, about a fireman who had seen some of the most horrific duty calls in the business. Chief Madison also walked by Mike’s side through a PTSD diagnosis, a year of therapy, and a battle to secure disability payments. Four months after the disability came through, Mike succumbed to ... [ more ]  




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