Sunday, January 13, 2019

Fire and Rescue veteran rescues others with PTSD

Ex-NE Medic Sharing His PTSD Battle

Firehouse Forums
Riley Johnson
January 13, 2019

Former Lincoln Fire and Rescue paramedic Rob Ravndal is sharing his experiences with PTSD to help change cultural attitudes toward first responders.
Former Lincoln Fire and Rescue paramedic Rob Ravndal. LINCOLN, NE, FIRE and RESCUE

Paramedic Rob Ravndal went on hundreds of emergency calls before the one response that ultimately ended his career at Lincoln Fire and Rescue.

The trauma of that call, a 3-year-old's drowning in 2015, sent the father of young children into a spiral.

Nightmares. Breakdowns. A general sense of fear.

Even after his bosses pulled him off the ambulance, Ravndal struggled at work and at home as he grappled with post-traumatic stress disorder.

One in five firefighters or paramedics nationwide will suffer from PTSD during their career, according to the Journal for Occupational Health Psychology.

Ravndal sought treatment, eventually becoming the first Lincoln firefighter to use a service dog. But he never returned to full-duty and ended his nine-year tenure in October, walking away from the job the he said made him feel like a superhero.

Ravndal, 46, hopes sharing his experiences grappling with the disorder and trying to continue his career will help change the culture toward first responders experiencing PTSD.

"If the people don't do something to change it, they can't be upset if they call 911 and nobody comes," he said.
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