Platteville Fire Chief Ryan Simmons emphasized the importance of mental health resources for first responders Friday as firefighters mourned the loss of a colleague who took his own life.
Simmons said in a Facebook post that a young Platteville firefighter took his life Friday.
“It does not matter why he chose this path, as no matter the reason, it is a heart breaking tragedy,” he wrote in the post. “I know it easy to say, ‘Why didn’t they ask for help?’ but depression can be overwhelming.”
Simmons urged fellow first responders to reach out to friends and family for mental health help, and pointed them to a helpline for fire and emergency medical services workers to call in times of need. He said that the helpline is available for first responders and their family members at any time to assist with behavioral and mental health issues.
“May god be with this young man’s family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time,” wrote Simmons. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all who are grieving the tragic loss of this young man.”
First responders can reach the helpline at 1-888-731-3473.