Platteville (Wisconsin) Fire Chief Ryan Simmons got a phone call he wasn’t expecting-and he was shook after the call. One of his Firefighters, Firefighter Tim Ebert had committed suicide.
Tim was a student at UW-Platteville. So, between being a student working part time and being a members of the Platteville Fire Department (since fall 2017), he was busy. Firefighter Ebert was from Saint Germain and was also a member of the Saint German FD as well.
According to Chief Simmons, Ebert was always smiling and always willing to help people. “From what everyone knows of Tim and our experiences of him, we definitely would not have suspected anything from him. He didn’t seem depressed or anything. He usually had a smile on his face. He was a happy-go-lucky guy and wanted to help others.”
Chief Simmons said he doesn’t know what may have led Ebert to take his own life last week, but said that it doesn’t really matter. Chief Simmons emphasized that what matters is that it happened. He wants to focus on his memory and how to prevent this from happening in the future. “Do we talk about it enough? We probably don’t. We just all think we are rough, tough firefighters and everything just bounces off our skin, but it doesn’t.”
Services for Ebert will be held at the United Church of Christ in Saint Germain on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 1500 Hours.
Firefighter Behavioral Health is a much discussed and known issue these days. Please check out the below resources for additional, valuable information.
SUICIDE HOTLINE USA: 1 (800) 273-8255
SUICIDE HOTLINES CANADA: https://suicideprevention.ca/need-help/
SUICIDE HOTLINES WORLDWIDE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_suicide_crisis_lines
Please also take time to review these links and resources -and have the info on hand.
=ROSECRANCE FIREFIGHTER PROGRAM: http://www.rosecrance.org/substance-abuse/florian-firefighter-paramedic-police-military-treatment-center/
=FIREFIGHTER PERSONAL SURVIVAL: http://firefighterclosecalls.com/category/personal-survival/
=SAFE CALL NOW: http://safecallnow.org/
=FIREFIGHTER BEHAVIORAL HEALTH: http://www.ffbha.org/
=CORDICO FIREFIGHTER WELLNESS: https://www.cordico.com/firefighter-wellness-programs/
=FIREFIGHTER SUICIDE-RISING TIDE: https://www.fireengineering.com/articles/2018/08/firefighter-behavioral-health-and-suicide-a-rising-tide.html
=ESTABLISHING A SUICIDE PREVENTION PROGRAM-FIRE ENGINEERING: http://www.fireengineering.com/articles/2014/07/implementing-a-suicide-prevention-program.html
=FF SILENT KILLER-FIRE ENGINEERING: http://www.fireengineering.com/articles/print/volume-165/issue-12/features/firefighters-silent-killer-suicide.html
=THE COMPANY OFFICERS ROLE-FIRERESCUE1: http://tinyurl.com/7bbz8ev
=THE WARNING SIGNS-FIREHOUSE: https://www.firehouse.com/safety-health/health-fitness/article/21004990/firefighter-suicide-risk-factors-warning-signs
=FF SUICIDE ARTICLE: (A FIRE CHIEF/DAD’S PERSPECTIVE) http://firechief.com/health-safety/ar/firefighting_not_without_warning/ (Fire Chief Magazine Article)
=FF SUICIDE ARTICLE: USA TODAY:
=FF SUICIDE ARTICLE: (ABC NEWS) http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/firefighter-ptsd-suicide/story?id=14466320(ABC News Article on Firefighter Suicide)
=FF SUICIDE ARTICLE-FIREHOUSE: http://www.firehouse.com/news/10732817/chicago-firefighter-suicide-report-seeks-answers
Our condolences to all those affected by the loss of Firefighter Tim Ebert.