Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Lakeland Fire Department taking on PTSD head on!

Lakeland Fire Department addressing post-traumatic stress in firefighters

FOX 13 News
Ken Suarez
January 14, 2019
Until recently, firefighters were expect to work out their problems on their own and not share them. The result can be post-traumatic stress, or in more severe cases, post-traumatic stress disorder.

LAKELAND, Fla. (FOX 13) - If you think you’re stressed at work, imagine being a firefighter. They deal with people during the lowest points of their lives, while their house is burning, or just moments after a terrible, possibly fatal car crash.

What’s worse, according to Assistant Chief Rick Hertzog of the Lakeland Fire Department, it is difficult for firefighters to move on after experiencing an especially traumatic situation.
“We pass by these locations where we run these calls over and over again,” he told FOX 13, noting the stress “continues to build up inside of us until sometimes we are just unable to cope.”

Traditionally, if firefighters confided that they were having a hard time emotionally, they would have been told to just deal with it and move on.

“That's how they handled it, they buried those feelings down,” said Tom Howard, a trainer from Illinois Firefighter Peer Support.
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