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Old 12-14-2016, 08:55
ash64 ash64 is offline
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Default PTSD and Departments

Maybe this has been discussed before but in my opinion it cannot be discussed enough. How many of you work for a department that takes PTSD serious? What I am really asking is if your department is proactive or reactive to getting help? Our response has always been "get past it" and I am sorry to say it is that way today.

Sometimes we all need help and to me it begins at the top. So I am asking about your department and more specifically those of us that are in supervisor roles, how often do we really measure the pulse of our subordinates?

Just throwing it out there for discussion since we are seeing more and more FF suicides. We need to change our culture, seeking help is not a sign of weakness!
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:13
CaliSplash8 CaliSplash8 is offline
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Location: Orange County
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Default PTSD and Departments

I completely agree; as a nurse, I cannot tell you how often I see firefighters or other first responders dealing with PTSD, who are reluctant and almost embarrassed to talk about it. They are so afraid that their superiors will find out and somehow this will cause them to be viewed as weak by their peers. I work in the vicinity of the tragedy that happened yesterday on the 5FWY in Orange County around lunchtime. This just highlights how important it is for PTSD and/or depression to be taken seriously so that the men and women who are firefighters suffering in silence can get the help they need without fear and before it's too late. Condolences to the family of the OCFA captain we lost yesterday.


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Last edited by CaliSplash8; 12-14-2016 at 09:20.
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2016, 11:16
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chiefjack chiefjack is online now
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Default Re: PTSD and Departments

As a former Chief Officer, I took the health and well-being of my troops very seriously. I tried to spend time talking to anyone who seemed out of sorts or who had just experienced a traumatic incident. I watched them closely after the incident and made sure they knew they could talk to me, not just as "The Chief", but as a person. I respected their "Space", but made sure they knew they could call me ANYTIME they needed help.

Since retiring, I still keep in touch with my Brothers and Sisters and when I hear about them responding to something that is out of the ordinary, I call them to make sure they are OK, encourage them to seek help if stuff gets to bothering them, and encourage them to watch out for each other always.

I encourage each and every one of you to watch out for each other and communicate. Help is available and all you have to do is ask. We work in a very stressful and trying vocation and it can take a toll on us both physically and mentally. We MUST learn about PTSD and similar conditions, be brave enough to recognize it in both ourselves and our brothers and sisters, AND seek help!!

Take a moment today to look around you and see if anyone is acting out of the ordinary, talk about PTSD amongst yourselves, and commit to taking care of each other from this point forward. Do a "Mental Health Stand Down".

HELP IS AVAILABLE! DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR IT AND DON'T BE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP IF SOMEONE YOU WORK WITH APPEARS TO BE SUFFERING!

We can't continue to have our Brothers and Sisters be driven to suicide from a lack of help and we need to take care of each other.
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My comments are my personal opinion, based on my life experiences and training. They are not to be construed as legal advice as I am not an attorney and if you act on any of the information I provide in my comments, you do so at your own risk!!
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Old 02-28-2017, 18:07
Jacksdad Jacksdad is offline
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Default Re: PTSD and Departments

I wonder if people are also fearful of being put on light duty or being deemed mentally unfit to return to work. I know of 1 guy who is has back pain constantly but refuses to go see a doc because he's worried they won't let him come back to work. That's too much for him to bear. So he deals with the pain on his own.

I'm sure there are people who have PTSD and are in a similar situation.
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