Friday, September 15, 2017

Florida Firefighters Remembered For Service After Suicide

Firefighters who took their own lives will be added to memorial

Lena Howland
September 15, 2017

With the annual IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter's Memorial ceremony coming up this weekend in Colorado Springs, 196 names of firefighters who have made the ultimate sacrifice will be added to the memorial.

David Dangerfield is one of several other firefighters that took their own life and will be added to the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial. (KOAA)

Among them, a handful who didn't die in the line of duty, rather, from suicide caused by post-traumatic stress disorder they got on the job.

Usually when we hear about PTSD, it's related to our military but it's a growing issue among firefighters too.

They are first on scene to nearly every emergency, from fires, to drownings, to terrible accidents, they see it all and it can take a toll.

"Every three days, he experienced a trauma and then he came home to his family for 27 years," Leslie Dangerfield, a widow said.

David Dangerfield was a Battalion Chief in Florida.

But sadly one day, his wife, Leslie took the last call she would ever get from him.

"I love you, you're a good mom, take care of our kids... I begged him, please don't leave them, please don't do this, he said I can't do it anymore, I can't, the nightmares, I can't do it anymore," she said.

She had seen some warning signs. For years, he struggled with anger outbursts, sometimes irrational behavior and trouble sleeping.

"His nightmares about babies dying in his arms, about trying to save someone from a shark bite who lost a limb or he couldn't find a body part and had to bring a decapitated body onto the beach where the mother was standing," she said.

Sadly, he's not alone.

Richard Sandell, a Florida firefighter for 18 years, also took his life when his wife Diana was pregnant with their third child.

Read more here

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