MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
I sometimes add a statement to a news release that would indicate some experiences of firefighter/medics "are not easy." My hope is that the public and our personnel recognize that it is okay to see and feel the vulnerability of our personnel after witnessing what no human should ever have to witness or experience and there is a personal impact on us. "It's not easy" and we must learn to cope with incidents from the most challenging to the simplest of incidents. Incidents affect each one of us individually and need to learn on how to handle our feelings. Is the coffee table critique enough? Do you share your feelings with co-workers??
Teresa A. Meunier, PGFD Office of Risk Management, added, "It is important to remember that if you are in a crisis and need immediate assistance, you should contact a mental health professional such as the Fire/EMS Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Counselor at (301) 883-6270, or, the County’s EAP program, (APS Healthcare), at 1-(877) 334-0530."
Meunier added, "Fire/EMS Stations should post the National Suicide Prevention Hotline number, 1-800-273-TALK, and firefighter/medics should know when to use or encourage others to use this number. You can also visit the following website for very valuable information that may help you to recognize warning signs of suicide in yourself and others."
Many thanks to Chief Billy Goldfeder for compiling this list of valuable information. As Battalion Chief Conver-White stated, "Let's talk about it...you may save a life."
TWO FIREFIGHTER SUICIDES IN FLORIDAOut of respect to the families and members of those affected, we won't share names or the departments-but once again, two of "our own" have taken their lives in just the last few days, One FF in South Florida and the other in the Tampa Bay area.In addition to the "awareness" of the two losses, we wanted to sharethe leadership shownby a Chief of Department:It is with deep regret that I must inform you of the untimely death of Firefighter who took her own life this morning. Words cannot express the profound sadness that we all feel. I am at a loss as to how to make sense of her death, many of you have expressed the same sentiment. We may never have an explanation that makes sense to us. I have no words to offer that will make this right, or even bearable. I can only say that I am both saddened and sorry that she did not feel like she had another option. Our grief cannot compare to what Toni's family is going through so I ask you to pray for those she loved.. These next few weeks will be trying for everyone. Look out for each other and please reach out if you need to talk. Take care of each other.Suicide continues to be a constant in the profession of fire, rescue and EMS. Please take time to review these links-and have the info on hand.=PERSONAL SURVIVAL:
=SAFE CALL NOW:=NFFF:=NO FIREFIGHTER STANDS ALONE:=FIREFIGHTER BEHAVIORAL HEALTH:=ESTABLISHING A SUICIDE PREVENTION PROGRAM-FIRE ENGINEERING:=FF SILENT KILLER-FIRE ENGINEERING:http://www.fireengineering.com/articles/print/volume-165/issue-12/features/firefighters-silent-killer-suicide.html=THE COMPANY OFFICERS ROLE-FIRERESCUE1:=FF SUICIDE ARTICLE: (A FIRE CHIEF/DAD'S PERSPECTIVE)http://firechief.com/health-safety/ar/firefighting_not_without_warning/ (Fire Chief Magazine Article)
=FF SUICIDE ARTICLE: (ABC NEWS)http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/firefighter-ptsd-suicide/story?id=14466320 (ABC News Article on Firefighter Suicide)=FF SUICIDE ARTICLE-FIREHOUSE:Take Care. be Careful. Pass It On.BillyGThe Secret List 11/20/2014-1700 Hours