As the summer season approaches, some of us are preparing for fun. Others are preparing for a possibly intense fire season and the associated PTSD. And year after year, who are the heroes of fire season? Firefighters, of course. We rely on them to help us when we need it most, and as such, firefighters often see traumatic things “human beings aren’t meant to see.” And not all firefighters are trained to handle such horrors—some are volunteers with other careers. So what can be done to help the men and women who brave tragedy?
According to a recent article on WAGM-TV, training can help. We at CFEL also encourage those who are experiencing symptoms of PTSD to reach out for professional help. For anyone in the West Side Cleveland area, please contact us for an appointment. We’re here for you.
Tragedy tops daily news broadcasts, be it car accidents, fires, or other incidents. But did you ever consider the toll it takes on those responding to help?
“We always say ‘this seems to happen in big cities and bigger departments,’ but the truth is it can happen to us, and that’s why we train as hard as we train and do the things that we do because it can happen here,” Chief Darrell White of Presque Isle Fire Department, said.
Recent training, held at the Presque Isle Fire Department, included discussion of firefighter survivability, self-rescue, and especially mental health concerns – a huge problem experienced by volunteers and full-time members across the nation.
“The critical things that they see – they’re basically in combat in an urban environment, and they see some horrible things that human beings aren’t meant to see,” Richard Wark, fire instructor for the Maine Fire Service Institute, said.
Richard Wark, fire instructor with the Maine Fire Service Institute, says it’s important to teach firefighters how to take care of their mental health, as well as their physical health, to be able to be fit for duty and still have a productive life.
‘Most of these folks are not doing this for a career. They have a regular job. They come in and do this on on-call basis,” Wark said.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is common in the profession. Wark says more needs to be done to assist those experiencing it.
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