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Invisible Wounds: California Firefighters say Job Stress Causes Lingering Mental Health Issues

Liz Wagner, Michael Bott, and Mark Villarreal

Mental health awareness is on the rise in fire stations across the state, but an NBC Bay Area investigation found some departments still lack critical services and stigma continues to block many firefighters from seeking help for post-traumatic stress...

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Search Dogs Aiding First Responders in Harvey Rescue Efforts(1)

Five years ago, a Sacramento shelter dog named Rocket was deemed too energetic to be adopted and scheduled for euthanasia.  Now, Rocket is helping out in Hurricane Harvey as a search dog trained to work with first responders in disasters.

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PTSD Can Attack Years Later

PTSD Can Attack Years Later

Allen R. Kates, MFAW, BCECR

Can you develop Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) months or even years after a traumatic event like 9/11?  Without having shown any previous symptoms?  Studies of World War II veterans and victims of motor vehicle accidents say Yes.

This phenomenon is called "delayed onset PTSD," according to the therapist's diagnostic bible known as the DSM-IV-TR. It states that symptoms first appear at least six months after the traumatic event. That could mean months or even years later. 

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Helping First Responders Release Their Pain

Helping First Responders Release Their Pain

Admin for Disaster Resource Guide

According to Global News, at least four Canadian first responders have committed suicide since the beginning of this year. The data comes from the Tema Conter Memorial Trust, an organization which also reports 34 first responders have killed themselves since April 29, 2014.

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Thin Red Line

Thin Red Line

Chris Harder

Honor, Respect, Tradition and Sacrifice. That is the heart beat of the Fire

Service across our nation.

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The Toll of Trauma: What Bangor Police are Doing to Fight a Silent Threat

The Toll of Trauma: What Bangor Police are Doing to Fight a Silent Threat

Callie Ferguson

The Bangor Police Department is establishing a team of officers trained to support their peers in the wake of traumas they experience on the job.

Stressed-out cops pose problems for their colleagues in blue and the public they police, Officer Chris Blanchard said.

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How Crisis Intervention Training Helps First Responders

How Crisis Intervention Training Helps First Responders

Good Therapy Staff

Every day, first responders—police officers, firefighters, and paramedics—are called on to handle situations involving mental health crises. As a result, communities and industry groups have begun implementing training efforts to help emergency personnel better recognize mental health symptoms, relate to people experiencing a crisis, and access appropriate care or services for those in need.

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Breaking Up With My PTSD

Breaking Up With My PTSD

Donna Syed

My almost life-long companion and I are actually breaking up. I should be more specific. What I’m breaking up with is more exactly known as C-PTSD, a form of PTSD. I think we’re in the final stages of our separation. It’s been a long and drawn-out breakup because that’s how it goes with C-PTSD. Once you get to know it well, you practice breaking up with it every day. Some days require more sorting out and negotiation than others.

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SUICIDE RATES RISING AMONG FIREFIGHTERS

Mark Lamplugh

Suicide rates are on the increase among firefighters. In fact, the rates are beginning to catch up with the rates of law enforcement officers. Some of the same stressors affect both groups and more corporate culture changes are needed to ensure that the best possible assistance is provided to first responders who are feeling so stressed that they experience suicidal ideations.

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Mitigating Stress in a Chaotic Career

MARK LAMPLUGH JR.

All firefighters can identify a reason that sparked their initial passion for becoming a firefighter—to serve their community, to save people, to work as part of a team, to become part of the station house brotherhood or something else. That reason turns into a passion that supersedes any fear of danger or job-related stress.

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