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  #1  
Old 12-17-2015, 17:22
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Default Fire Engineering- Suicide Is a Reality in the Fire Service

http://www.fireengineering.com/artic...e-suicide.html
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Old 12-17-2015, 17:24
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Default Re: Fire Engineering- Suicide Is a Reality in the Fire Service

PTSD is almost never talked about for firefighters, heavy hearts and weary minds just keep soldiering on despite awareness.
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Old 12-17-2015, 19:36
Grubadour Grubadour is offline
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Default Re: Fire Engineering- Suicide Is a Reality in the Fire Service

Like Diabetes. The silent killer.
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Old 12-18-2015, 21:13
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Default Re: Fire Engineering- Suicide Is a Reality in the Fire Service

If you really look into it, it happens far more often than I feel most people realize. From my experience it has never been part of a discussion for new firefighters. Nothing on what to expect, the signs, the aftermath, and the available help is not part of a fire academy curriculum. It needs to be.
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Old 12-18-2015, 22:51
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Default Re: Fire Engineering- Suicide Is a Reality in the Fire Service

It would be nice if the state stepped up and assisted with this.

Starting as a fire tech student in 1989, I always remember an instructor talking about a female FF from Santa Ana Fire that took her life prior. It always stuck with me that she should have gotten help.
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Old 12-18-2015, 23:07
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Default Re: Fire Engineering- Suicide Is a Reality in the Fire Service

I have a friend I went to paramedic school with who is working as a FF/PM. We had a bad MCI as interns in 2011 that, in my opinion, triggered PTSD in him. I am one of the very few people he is willing to talk with about his nightmares, flashbacks, or whatever you want to call them. He drinks like a fish off duty and has already gone through several rocky relationships in no small part due to his PTSD. We have had frank discussions of his thought s of suicide. He refuses to seek counseling or any support other than the bottle, me, his dog, and two or three close friends. I know there a great many options available for him from EAP to crisis hotlines but, of course, he refuses all of it as he doesn't want to be seen as "some pussy."

I know he's on the track to self destruction but to borrow an old saying, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

I share this because I suspect many of us know or work with someone like him. I am especially not looking forward to the day when I decide he's a danger to himself and others. It's not going to be pretty.

I can't help but wonder if we were forced to do a CISM and/or attend counseling after that MCI his issues might have been avoided. As such, I am a firm believer in CISM even for what some may consider fairly minor things.
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Old 12-19-2015, 16:39
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Default Re: Fire Engineering- Suicide Is a Reality in the Fire Service

We recently had one of our vollies, who happen to be with the FS, missing for a few days. Unfortunately he was found and we were all caught off guard and shocked. None of had any idea..
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Old 03-17-2017, 20:08
hgpilotjeff hgpilotjeff is offline
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Default Re: Fire Engineering- Suicide Is a Reality in the Fire Service

Are there any specific types of calls that tend to have a higher likelihood of instilling issues that can lead to PTSD? Is it usually a call that we see something that can be immediately related to our own lives and current situations? Do they tend to be trauma calls? Usually children?

I ask the specifics here with an algorithm in mind that departments could use to help prevent PTSD, or at least catch it early. For example if certain calls met the criteria the members would automatically be given a CISM. If it met even more specific criteria then there would be automatic follow up sessions...

Just thinking out loud here, but also for my own sake. I've been working for the past few years and I haven't come across anything that seems to have triggered anything within me. But I would rather be prepared.
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Old 03-17-2017, 21:58
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Default Re: Fire Engineering- Suicide Is a Reality in the Fire Service

I spent a semester is two university classes that covered PTSD in not only law enforcement, the fire service, the military and disaster workers both professional and volunteer but also disaster victims. We also covered how families of the above are affected too.

For those named above (and not excluding anyone else) injuries and fatalities to kids tend to more so affect those who have kids. But that doesn't mean those who don't have kids are not affected either. If you haven't been on a crew that has responded to a child who sustained a traumatic injury or was killed on scene I can tell you the rest of the shift will be unbelievably hard on everyone. I've been there myself.

Because we are all individuals everyone reacts differently to on going stress and things that can cause stress. In fact, some people seem to thrive on stress. Ergo, some don't react internally, or externally just as some do react internally or externally. Therefore, it's hard to come up with an automatic broad bush algorithm about what will and what will not lead to PTSD.

Now with that having been said consider the following in preemptive strike fashion:

When it comes to CISM every department should have an established policy including trigger points for calling in the pros. Remember that the focus is on people and not on the incident type. Mandatory attendance should be required but only for the intro of what CISM is for and what it can do. After that no one should be required to stay past that point. This is the time for both formal leaders (FC, AC, DC, BC, Captains, LT's) and informal leaders to be leaders and be on the look out for negative behavior(s) in subordinates and take action to mitigate such behavior(s) by placing people OOS and getting them referred to the professionals. Leaders also need to step up and cut off (at the knees so to speak) for those who bully (suck it up ya pussy) those who are having problems after the incident.
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