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Old 01-22-2012, 10:28
bassnut42 bassnut42 is offline
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Default Any good resource for PTSD.

Im looking for info to help with my PTSD , Thanks
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Old 01-22-2012, 13:15
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Tomdz Tomdz is offline
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Default Re: Any good resource for PTSD.

If you are on the job, make contact with EAP. Don't know what EAP is? Check with your HR folks.

Is your PTSD job related? Workmen's comp may be the way to get started.

Do you have a health plan? You have resouces available but you have to start with your own doctor.

County, City, State or fire district department? Check with the respective HR departments for PTSD treatment information.

Got a Union or IAFF rep? Ask for resources.

If you do have a health plan then there could be an ombudsman/ombudsperson to speak with for information.

Got a department Health and Wellness Program? Resources available there too.

Are you a college student? Your college student medical services may have something available. Student counselors do so much more than just tell you what classes to take.

Are you a veteran and your PTSD may be a service-connected medical condition? You have VA resources. Pick up the phone and give them a call or better yet, make face-to-face contact.

While PTSD can bring you to your knees, untreaded PTSD can lead to drug usage, drinking/alcoholism, incarceration and even death. It's just a whole lot easier to go the treatment route.

I know of a Silver Star winner who is doing a life sentence for murder which is related to untreated PTSD. I also have a brother-in-law who is facing 25 years for a DUI with injuries (third striker) all because he wasn't taking his PTSD treatment program seriously.

It takes a big pair to be a firefighter. It also takes a big pair to be a combat veteran and just make it back alive with all the horrific **** that you see and deal with in the trenches. It doesn't take a bigger pair to seek treatment and work on your PTSD.

If you don't get anywhere with any of the above then you check back with me.

Last edited by Tomdz; 01-22-2012 at 22:47.
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Old 01-22-2012, 22:42
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2112 2112 is offline
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Default Re: Any good resource for PTSD.

I think Tom hit all the points. I hope you are able to get some help, and soon.
Good luck to you.
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Old 01-31-2012, 22:32
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Default Re: Any good resource for PTSD.

Sent to CAFF.com. Hope this helps- http://www.highdesert.com/news/firef...difficult.html


Firefighters find support- Peer counselors help with job-related and personal issues
January 30, 2012 9:52 AM
Beatriz E. Valenzuela, Staff Writer

Firefighters and first responders many times will experience things the general public will never have to. It's those images, smells and situations that can be difficult for some fire personnel to share with loved ones or others outside of the fire service.

Local firefighters have the opportunity to receive specialized counseling to help them through difficult job-related and personal issues.

“We’re human, too,” San Bernardino County Fire Capt. Bret Henry said. Henry is part of a peer counseling group established by the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

Peer counselors can be called to scenes of traumatic events such as fires where children are killed or individually to help members of the fire department deal with a fellow firefighter’s death.

The Apple Valley Fire Protection District also has a counseling program that mirrors the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s, said Fire Chief Art Bishop.

They use The Counseling Team: A group of professionals who specialize in dealing with the stresses experienced by first responders such as sheriff’s officials and fire personnel.

Members of the AVFPD cannot only call on The Counseling Team for work-related incidents, but also for personal situations such as marital or financial hardships, Bishop stated.

Bishop believes being able to extend counseling services for personal issues actually helps firefighters perform better at their jobs. They can work without having the interference of personal stresses.

For Henry, the fact that the majority of the peer counselors have been through high-stress on-the-job situations helps when talking to those who reach out for help.

“We don’t have to say, ‘I know what you’re going through,’ ” Henry said. “We all know that we have been through our career and training, and we have the credibility of knowing how they feel.”

Peer counselors go through extensive training, Henry said, and are always training to keep abreast of new challenges.

Henry said he became a peer counselor for the same reason he joined the fire department: “We want to help others and we want to help each other.”

Beatriz E. Valenzuela may be reached at (760) 951-6276 or at BValenzuela@VVDailyPress.com.

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Old 02-01-2012, 14:10
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Default Re: Any good resource for PTSD.

Also sent to CAFF.com- www.dailynews.com/health/ci_19849684

L.A. County firefighters help each other cope with toughest part of the job
By Christina Villacorte, Staff Writer

Posted: 01/29/2012 09:46:26 PM PST
Updated: 01/30/2012 01:26:53 PM PST

Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Scott Ross, right, talks over issues with Firefighter Richard Conejo, left, who was recently affected by the death of a fellow firefighter. They meet under the auspices of the L.A. County Fire Department's Peer Support Program. (Brad Graverson/Staff Photographer)
Sometimes, heroes need saving too.

Firefighter Richard Conejo fell into depression after a fellow firefighter, Glenn Allen, perished in a blaze at a Hollywood Hills home almost a year ago.

"I had nightmares and could hardly eat," Conejo said.

The men had been standing only a few feet apart when the ceiling collapsed on Allen. Conejo performed CPR but the 61-year-old veteran died days later, just missing the birth of his first grandchild.

It was all too much for Conejo, 36, particularly the thought of how he himself barely escaped. He and his wife had been planning to start a family.

"When I got home, that's what made me break down and cry," Conejo said.

That's when the Los Angeles County Fire Department's peer support program jumps in.

Over the past 25 years, specially trained firefighters have helped their "brothers" handle the strain inevitable in a job that requires rushing into burning buildings, hanging from helicopters to pluck people out of swollen rivers, and prying open train wrecks to look for survivors.

"Firefighters are this macho crew who think, `We've got to be tough,' but the bottom line is we're all human," said fire Capt. Scott Ross, a team leader in the program who reached out to the despondent Conejo.

"The stuff that we see on a daily basis, all the tragedy and suffering, it can be overwhelming," Ross added. "There's a breaking point in everybody."

About 60 firefighters
volunteer to help colleagues shaken by a particularly harrowing incident, like the death of a child.

"We definitely look out for our brothers," said fire engineer/paramedic Dan Timboe, another team leader on the program, which does not provide any extra pay.

Some firefighters experience a form of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Others complain of being burned out and stop going to work.

And then there are those who resort to alcohol, drugs or gambling to numb the pain, and those who take out their frustrations on their families, or act distant and isolated from them.

Firefighters have one of the highest rates of divorce of any profession in the country.

"We're not counselors," Timboe said. "But because we're firemen, they're more willing to talk to us than to a total stranger."

Many members of the peer support program have endured crises themselves.

Ross helped recover the body of his son's girlfriend after she fell overboard during a boating accident in Arizona. He had watched the teenager grow up and considered her a member of the family.

Timboe is the designated team leader for cases involving alcohol abuse, because he himself used to drink, many years ago.

Most of the time, they are able to ease their fellow firefighters' stress by simply meeting with them over coffee, letting them vent, and talking about their own struggles and how they overcame it.

Occasionally, however, they recommend a call to mental health professionals who contract with the LACoFD.

Marriage and family therapist Steve Froehlich said without the intervention of the peer support program, firefighters might never go to him for the help they need.

"As a group, firefighters are psychologically very, very hardy and resilient, ... much more quick to step up to help somebody else rather than themselves," Froehlich said. "What makes this program incredibly valuable is that a first responder might not be comfortable talking to a mental health professional, but a peer supporter can change their mind by giving that professional their seal of approval."

LACoFD created the peer support program after the 1986 Cerritos air disaster, when a small plane and an airliner collided in midair and crashed into a residential neighborhood.

All 67 people aboard both aircraft and 15 others on the ground were killed.

Ten of the dead were children.

"Firefighters were exposed to all this carnage on the streets, and we noticed its emotional effect on them was not going away," said Assistant Chief Gerald Heinzel, the department's current peer support coordinator.

"By introducing some peer supporters and mental health professionals to let the firefighters talk about what they experienced, and the frustration they felt, we were able to bring them back to normalcy."

Heinzel said the program gets about 200 to 600 referrals a year. Sometimes firefighters seek out the help themselves. Often, however, their spouse or fellow firefighters make the call on their behalf.

The department also proactively deploys teams to particularly sensitive incidents, so they can be on the scene to offer help when asked. They never force the intervention.

The teams were summoned to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and have also offered advice to local municipal fire departments.

They were particularly needed when fire Capt. Ted Hall and firefighter specialist Arnie Quinones were killed during the Station Fire in 2009. The men were well known in the department, having served for a combined 35 years in about a dozen fire stations.

Ross welcomed the phone calls, even those that came in the middle of the night.

"We get up for the public 24/7," he said. "I most certainly am not going to have a problem with a firefighter calling me. I'm here for them, any time."

The program is not always successful. Some firefighters rebuff offers of help and end up quitting to avoid the stress, or being terminated because they cannot stay sober on the job.

There also have been rare cases of suicide.

Ross met Conejo at the hospital where the latter underwent a checkup after the Hollywood Hills house fire. Conejo lost 15 pounds over the span of a month while struggling to come to terms with what happened, but Ross and other firefighters eventually pulled him through.

Conejo and his wife are now expecting their first child. He has applied to join the peer support program, which is holding a recruitment drive to boost the number of its volunteers to 100.

"They helped me out a lot, and if I can give that same comfort and solace to somebody else, that's something I have to do," he said. "I think it's my duty as a fireman."

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Old 02-02-2012, 17:30
mikeyboy411 mikeyboy411 is offline
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Cool Re: Any good resource for PTSD.

Here are a couple of websites to help...



Check through your EAP. You may also, want to check with your FD and the surrounding FDs to see if they have a CISM Team or Peer Support Team that you can talk to. All conversations have to be kept private and confidential. Please get help ASAP.....

If you need to get some things off your chest or need additional help (even with finding somebody to talk to) send me a P.M. and I will do whatever I can. Peer Support is much needed, I've used it and currently provide it for my FD. Here's to your healthy recovery.

Last edited by mikeyboy411; 02-02-2012 at 17:37.
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