I’ve been a first responder since I was 17-years-old. After 42 years, I can say with certainty that I was destined to be one, just like my dad was. It’s in my blood. Like many who serve on the front lines, I’ve witnessed tragedy, heartbreak, helplessness and disbelief. I’ve been frustrated more often than I’d like to admit, and there are days that, like all of you, I’m left asking “why?” But with each bout of frustration comes a renewed sense of commitment to my life work. I remind myself and my team members that even though first responders can’t change the course of an event, our intervention helps things turn out for the better. All of our nation’s defenders, including firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and law enforcement, can find comfort in knowing that we protect America’s communities as best as we humanely can. And so, with National First Responders Appreciation Day on the horizon, I encourage you to pause and say “thank you” to those who, without fail, show up.
– Chief Bob Harvey, Fire Chief, Black Forest Fire & Rescue (quote from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chief-bob-harvey/celebrating-everyday-hero_b_4003504.html
The following article “Is there enough mental health support for first responders?” outlines the issues faced by first responders and the struggle to receive adequate support.
There is hope, however, as communities and organizations come together to help.
Visit Invisible Wounds to share your stories and get support for PTSD: http://globalnews.ca/invisible-wounds/1257083/list-community-and-online-resources-for-soldiers-veterans-in-crisis
Documentary to help first responders deal with trauma
BY LETHBRIDGE HERALD ON MARCH 10, 2015.
Dave Mabell LETHBRIDGE HERALD