FINDING HOPE: Boise Fire Department coping with suicide death, fighting stigma of mental illness
By: Karen Lehr
Jun 25, 2019
"New firefighters saw veteran firefighters break down, and they talked about their feelings and how they were feeling that day, and really that has changed the stigma around it," Doan explained. "Other firefighters are seeing it's okay to seek treatment, that it's okay to not be okay."BOISE, Idaho — Tuesday, May 21 is a day most Boise firefighters will never forget. Early that morning, firefighters at Station #6 discovered Senior Firefighter Charlie Ruffing died by suicide while working overnight.
It was known within the department Ruffing was facing struggles with his mental health. He was undergoing counseling to deal with post traumatic stress injuries as a result of incidents witnessed on the job over the course of his 20 year career.
A recent bill - passed this legislative session - will soon allow those working on the front lines in Idaho to file for workers compensation to cover the cost of treating psychological injuries incurred while on the job, but Boise Fire is doing even more to make sure this never happens again on their watch.
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#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife