Showing posts with label emergency responders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label emergency responders. Show all posts

Monday, January 20, 2020

Thunder Bay EMS responders getting more help for PTSD

'We see terrible things': WSIB budgets for Thunder Bay emergency services to increase by $1M

CBC News
Matt Vis
Posted: Jan 20, 2020
"It's really quite a vast array of calls. A lot of it is the unexpected or the unknown. A lot of times a lot of information isn't made available and in some cases it's a shock factor when you get there depending on what you have to deal with. Acting fire chief Greg Hankkio

Thunder Bay police and firefighters respond to a motor vehicle collision. (Heather Kitching/CBC)

Emergency services in Thunder Bay are putting more money aside for Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) claims, particularly related to mental wellness.

The WSIB allocations for the Thunder Bay Police Service, Thunder Bay Fire Rescue and Superior North EMS combine for a $1-million increase in the proposed 2020 city budget.

'We see some terrible things' Leaders of the emergency services leaders identify mental health, and particularly post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as a major reason for the rise.

Superior North EMS chief Wayne Gates said PTSD is having a significant impact.

"We see some terrible things out there," Gates said.
read it here

Sunday, January 12, 2020

EMS workers suffer trauma too

Cleveland EMS workers suffer trauma, too — so why won’t city help its helpers?

The Plain Dealer
By Andrea Simakis
January 12, 2020
Chuck followed them, fighting the tears building in his eyes. Then it was on to the next call.

Former Cleveland paramedic Charles Cali sits in his kitchen January 8, 2019. Cali left his job because the city won't agree to common sense mental health protections for its EMS workers. Gus Chan, The Plain Dealer
CLEVELAND, Ohio — When the call came in, paramedic Chuck Cali and his partner hoped it was a mistake, or some feeble attempt to get the fire department there faster: “Neighbors report there’s a man on fire walking down the street.”

Then they turned a corner.

He was just standing there, not waving his hands or yelling. All his hair had been burned away. So had his clothes. Naked and still smoldering, everything that had made him recognizable was gone. Everything but his wide eyes.

“Am I going to die?”

As he spoke, part of his lip broke and flaked off.

The 23-year-old had suffered more burns than the decorated Cleveland paramedic had seen on some cadavers, and yet here he was, talking to them.

He wouldn’t tell them who had tied him up and set him on fire. If he told, they’d promised to do the same to everyone in his family.

“Please call my Dad.”

“Not now,” Chuck answered. “We need to get you to the hospital.”

A doctor took one look at him and declared him dead. “He’s still talking, sir,” Chuck replied. Three nurses left the room, crying.

Chuck followed them, fighting the tears building in his eyes. Then it was on to the next call.

There was no time to decompress, to make sure their heads were clear enough to treat the next critical patient.
read it here

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Police Officers offered help with PTSD in French Quebec?

For English-speaking police in Quebec, access to PTSD services is not a guarantee

CBC News
Jamie Pashagumskum
Aug 26, 2019

La Vigile is a retreat where police, firefighters and first responders can go for extended periods of time for counselling. Bergeron said he's aware of La Vigile, but that it's not accessible to his predominantly English-speaking police force.
Cree officer suffers from PTSD, but the only intensive program for police in province is French-only
Harold Bosum in 2012. Bosum says he quit the Eeyou Eenou Police force in 2013 because PTSD symptoms were putting a strain on his family. (Submitted by Harold Bosum)
It was constable Harold Bosum's second day on the job working in his home town as an officer with the Eeyou Eenou Police (EEPF), the police force that serves the nine Cree communities in Quebec; the end of an uneventful night shift in the small northern town of Ouje-Bougoumou when he was called to a house at 5 a.m.

Bosum requested an ambulance on his way over and, when he arrived, he found a woman dead at home with her young children, who were upset and scared. Bosum gave the woman CPR until first responders arrived.

"It actually only took the ambulance five minutes to get there from the time I called them, but performing CPR on her felt like forever because I knew she was already gone," Bosum recalls.

At the same time, I had to calm the kids."

In 2012, three months after that incident, Bosum sought help and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Bosum would experience a numb feeling down one side of his body and he became irritable and bad tempered at home.

"I would get angry with my family. I couldn't be happy anymore, I couldn't enjoy life," Bosum said.

The EEPF referred Bosum to their 1-800 help line, but he found accessing the line more frustrating than helpful.
read more here

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.
read more here

Monday, November 20, 2017

Dispatchers Deal With High Stress

Volusia, Flagler emergency dispatchers cope with long hours, low pay, high turnover

News Journal Online
Matt Bruce
November 19, 2017
“They have to be the voice that re-introduces some level of calmness and assurance into what is often a very difficult situation for the people who are calling,” said John Balloni, director of the Communications Center in Volusia County. “People are screaming at them, they’re swearing at them, and they’re upset. We teach them, yes, that’s all going to happen to you, but your job is still to be that voice of calm and reason, assure them that help is on the way.”
About half of Volusia County’s new dispatchers quit during their first year on the job, while nearly a third of Flagler’s recruits resign.
They serve as a bridge between crisis and intervention in a job that often requires them to hear the worst of humanity. Each day a legion of 9-1-1 dispatchers in Flagler and Volusia counties handle thousands of calls that can range in urgency from routine to catastrophic.
“They are the unsung heroes of all law enforcement and first responders,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Not only are they the voice of the Sheriff’s Office, but they also help protect our deputies.”
The U.S. Bureau of Labor rates emergency dispatching as one of the country’s most stressful professions, a fact that plays a role both near and far. About half of Volusia County’s new dispatchers quit during their first year on the job while nearly a third of Flagler’s recruits resign, officials said.
High turnover rates and staffing shortages at dispatch centers are a nationwide issue as agencies across the country struggle to find qualified call takers who can maintain their composure through intense trauma.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Prince Harry "We're all human, we're not machines"

Prince Harry Opens Up About Stress of His Afghanistan War Service as He Visits Ambulance Crews
“We’re all human, we’re not machines, despite a lot of people in certain jobs having to think and behave like machines in order to get the best out of you – I accept that – but it’s not weakness, it’s strength to be able to come forward, deal with it, move on and be a better person.” Prince Harry
Prince Harry spoke about the mental health challenges he faced while serving in Afghanistan as he met ambulance crews in London.

Recalling his days flying helicopters on his second tour, he said, “You land and then hand them over and then are radioed to do something else. You never find out how that guy or girl recovered, whether they did recover or they didn’t.”
read more here

Friday, January 1, 2016


Fire Engineering

Among the early references TO what we now call post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was that described by Herodotus in 440 B.C. He reported that Epizelus was stricken with blindness in the Battle of Marathon that continued throughout his life although there was no apparent physical reason to explain it. The primary factors in the loss of his vision were said to be the fright he experienced and witnessing his friend’s death. PTSD has been observed over the centuries among soldiers in battle and individuals who have experienced traumatic events-natural disasters, horrific accidents, or other tragedies. The term PTSD arose out of research on Vietnam War veterans, Holocaust survivors, and other trauma victims; it first appeared in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III, 1980).
Calling the Mayday
The fire service prides itself on taking care of our own. Most of our profession is built around a team concept. No matter what seems to be going on, there is always a fellow firefighter available to help out. Need help moving furniture? Call one of our brethren. Got spare tickets to a sporting event? Call one of our brethren. Need a ride home because your vehicle broke down? Call one of our brethren.

But why is it that when firefighters have a mental health problem and can’t handle it alone, we still try to keep it to ourselves? The answer lies in the culture of the fire service. We are problem solvers. Don’t know whom to call to fix a problem? Send the fire department; let the firefighters figure it out. But this works only with external problems. Emergency response, community relations, EMS, and technical rescue aren’t problems for us.

But when one of our own has a personal issue, who can that member call for help? Can that person turn to his fellow firefighters as he would for any other need? He should be able to, but the stigma attached to mental illness doesn’t allow firefighters to ask for that help. We all know about the firehouse culture and mentality. Most of the jokes and the laughter come from breaking someone’s chops. Although it’s a great way to develop esprit de corps, does it allow members to feel that they can share their personal issues? Or do they feel that such a disclosure would expose them to ridicule and make them the big joke around the firehouse for the next month or so? This mindset forces firefighters to keep their emotions bottled up and to feel as though they can’t turn to their brethren for the support they need to get through their current crisis.

In most firehouses, asking for help is perceived as a weakness. On the fireground, when you call a Mayday, you know we will move mountains to come to rescue you. But if you have a mental health issue, you won’t call for help. That’s why we need a “Psychological Mayday” for anyone in need to call for help. It should be just as acceptable as calling a Mayday on the fireground. If we can’t turn to our fellow firefighters for support, to whom can we turn?
read more here

Sunday, October 25, 2015

9-11 Responder Saved Lives, Lost His to PTSD

At memorial, family and friends say PTSD led to death of 9/11 first responder Kevin Kelly 
Updated October 24, 2015
Resnik was with Kelly the day he rescued a police officer who had fallen during an evacuation alarm at the pile, he said. "When everyone was listening to the horn and running away, Kevin stayed behind and grabbed this officer to make sure he got out safely," Resnik said.
Members of the Bellmore-Merrick EMS and other agencies salute and stand at attention while the procession passes in memory of ex-Capt. and Life Member Kevin Kelly at Sacred Heart Church in Merrick, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost
Ten months after losing their father, husband, colleague or friend, more than 100 people close to Kevin Kelly, a 9/11 first responder, gathered to memorialize him Saturday afternoon in Nassau County, where several spoke of his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder after spending 14 days on the Ground Zero pile.

The line-of-duty death of Kelly, a Bellmore-Merrick EMT who took his own life Dec. 11 after battling both PTSD and respiratory illnesses, is a reminder that people who helped others by responding to the terror attacks need all the mental and physical health assistance they can get, his family and friends said.

"He had a lot of suffering. Now he's at peace," Kelly's wife, Mary Rose Kelly, 52, of Lindenhurst said after the service. "PTSD is a silent killer. They don't have enough help for those dealing with that."
After the Zadroga Act, which helped 9/11 victims and first responders with their health needs, expired this month, Resnik said it felt like "Congress turned their back on us."
read more here

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ohio Police, Firefighters and First Responders May Get Comp for PTSD, Finally!

Ohio Senate panel to weigh police PTSD compensation bill 
By The Associated Press
Published: October 13, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Emergency responders with post-traumatic stress disorder could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits regardless of whether they have suffered any physical injuries under legislation before an Ohio Senate panel.

The bill would apply to police, peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians with PTSD arising from work. read more here

Sunday, September 13, 2015

911 Dispatcher and Veteran's Death Under Investigation

Richmond couple found dead in apparent murder-suicide
By: Hillary Thornton
Sep 12, 2015

RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Richmond police say two people have been found dead inside their home.

Police say as they responded to a domestic call at a home on Blackwell Court around 11:30 p.m. Friday night. Upon arrival, police say they heard a gunshot. They immediately entered the home and found a husband and wife both dead with gunshot wounds. Police are calling it an apparent murder-suicide.

The landlord of the home tells WKYT that the couple was Jackie Rose, 23, and Jessie Rose, 23. He says Jackie worked as a 911 dispatcher and Jessie worked at a factory and used to be in the military.
read more here

Monday, September 7, 2015

PTSD Alarm Bell: Firefighter Thought He Had to Suffer in Silence

PTSD: A firefighter’s story
Journal Times
By Stephanie Jones
September 6, 2015
But the lives saved are harder to concentrate on, Jorgensen said. It’s the losses that he has played over and over again in his head.
Bob Jorgensen, a former South Shore Fire lieutenant, said he has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after his years with the South Shore Fire Department. He's shown here with his old helmet and the fireman's axe he was presented upon his retirement.
Photo by Scott Anderson
RACINE — It was close to Christmas, nearly 21 years ago, when Bob Jorgensen responded to a call for an accident on Highway 31.

“When we arrived, I was handed the 8-year-old child,” he said.

He watched as the boy’s eyes fluttered every time he squeezed his oxygen bag.

The boy didn’t make it, said Jorgensen, 56, who lives in West Racine and retired from South Shore Fire Department in 2012.

It’s a call that still haunts him. It took him more than a decade and a trip to the hospital in handcuffs to realize the truth: He had post-traumatic stress disorder.

He is sharing his story in hopes of preventing others from going through what he did.
“We were supposed to handle everything,” he said. So instead of talking about it, he tried to cope in silence.
read more here

Saturday, August 29, 2015

What Do We Do When Responders Need Us?

When They Need Us
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 29, 2014

I have never had "good timing" showing up either too early or too late. Best way to explain that one is that I moved to Florida in 2004 right before Hurricanes Charley, Francis and Jeanne hit Central Florida in just six weeks.

When we were talking to the Realestate Agent about what we were looking for, one of the conditions was "no hurricanes" but the moving truck was long gone and the boxes had been trashed. The day after Charlie hit, we were down Home Depot buying plywood and stain. We drove down the street and our neighbors were making fun of the fact "we didn't have a hurricane in over 30 years but you guys buy plywood the day after" laughing at the stupid New Englanders.

When Francis was predicted to hit, they were standing in line to buy plywood. We were buying nails. When Jeanne was predicted to hit, they were using broken fences to cover their windows. We were buying more nails.

We're now facing Erika downgraded to tropical storm but no one knows for sure what will happen.

We're prepared to wait out the storm this time, just as we have been for every year after 2004 from June to November. While I don't spend too much time remembering that horrible year every season has been flashes of worrying it could happen again. It could have been worse if there were not emergency responders, firefighters, police officers and members of the National Guard willingly leaving their own families for the sake of the rest of us.

Hurricanes come with warnings while they are miles away and meteorologist have a general idea of where it will hit, when it will come and how strong the storm will be. If they aren't talking, we're not worrying.

It would be great if every traumatic event came with warnings and someone able to predict them so that folks could prepare ahead of time. Imagine how many people were able to get away from Hurricane Katrina because they were warned, able to leave and took the warnings seriously. We don't think about them because what happened in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama 10 years ago today.
The tropical depression that became Hurricane Katrina formed over the Bahamas on August 23, 2005, and meteorologists were soon able to warn people in the Gulf Coast states that a major storm was on its way. By August 28, evacuations were underway across the region.

Average folks face traumatic events all the time. Sometimes they come from natural events offering some type of warning. Other times they come from accidents with no warning at all. They come from crimes committed by other humans. They come from people we know and all too often from people we trust.

Everyone is susceptible to events but there are others topping off the regular traumas to willingly putting themselves into them everyday for the sake of others.

Firefighters rush to accidents, run into burning buildings and face off with massive wildfires. Not just one time but all the time. When they are not thinking about what they have to do faced with danger, they know any moment can send them into a life-threatening event. We don't want to talk about what they see or have to go through to save lives.
OKANOGAN, Wash. — The three U.S. Forest Service firefighters killed in a wildfire near Twisp last week died as a result of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries, or burns to the body, the Okanogan County Coroner’s Office said Friday.

The manner of death was listed as an accident.
From left, fallen U.S. Forest Service firefighters Richard Wheeler, 31, Andrew Zajac, 26, and Tom Zbyszewski, 20.

The three firefighters — Andrew Zajac, 26, Richard Wheeler, 31, and Tom Zbyszewski, 20 — were killed on Aug. 19 near Twisp.

Officials said the three died when their truck crashed down a 40-foot embankment as they tried to escape the fast-growing wildfire and flames consumed their vehicle. All three lived in north-central Washington.
Four others were injured.

All we care about is if they show up when we need them to. As for what happens to them afterwards, we expect them to be able to just get over it to be ready for the next time. We don't talk about them battling PTSD or thinking of ending their own lives. Emergency responders and firefighters are usually well regarded because we're always glad to see them especially when we're in trouble.

Police officers are different. We're glad to see them when we need them but hate to see them in a rearview mirror or when we were doing something wrong. They show up even though it seems more and more of them are hated. It is always stunning to think they still show up for work no matter how badly they are treated by some members of the public. Frankly most of us know there are a lot more good cops risking their lives for us than the few reported by the masses because they are suspected of doing something wrong.

We don't want to think about what their jobs do to them as long as they stay away from us when we don't need them but come when do. We don't want to think about Police Officers and PTSD or the fact that some go from risking their lives to not being able to fight for themselves anymore.

Members of the National Guard show up when we need them at home and deployed into combat operations on the other side of the world if asked to. Most of them are members of fire departments and police departments and a good number of them are also military veterans.

Yep, you know where this going.

We don't talk about them either. Sure we give them passing thoughts of reading reports pretending we understand all of what they face but we don't. Most don't even have a clue what their reality is or what it is like for their families. Oh, ya, that's something else we don't want to talk about. The families they come home to after they risked their lives for us.

The truth is, we want them there when we need them but no one seems to be there when they need us. As all of these folks get ready for yet another massive storm heading for Florida, think about all of them and then do a bit more than wonder what you can do for them and then DO IT! The predictions of their storms have been seen for generations but few took the warnings seriously enough to act.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Emergency Responders More Susceptible to PTSD

From 2008 to 2010 I took just about every training offered on Crisis Intervention available in Florida. I was certified as a Chaplain in 2008 by the IFOC. I focused on taking care of first responders since they were like most of the veterans I had experience with. Then it was more training including Disaster and Extreme Event Preparedness.

When I read this and the numbers, I remembered the training and what we knew back then. So why wasn't this training pushed for every group of first responders so they could find the support they needed in time to save their lives?
Fire Fighter Quarterly: Bringing PTSD Out of the Shadows
(The following article appeared in the Winter 2015 edition of the IAFF Fire Fighter Quarterly)
In just an 18-month period from 2008-09, Chicago Local 2 lost seven members to suicide. In 2010, four members of Phoenix, AZ Local 493 took their own lives.

Philadelphia, PA Local 22 has lost at least one member to suicide every year over the past five years. While each situation was different, Local 22 President Joe Schulle believes that work policies played a role.

A 20-year veteran firefighter at an urban fire department, John Smith had responded to every kind of imaginable — and unimaginable — emergency incident over the course of his career.

As a fire fighter, Smith sees people on their worst days, and the incidents he responds to on a daily basis can be truly horrific.

But it wasn’t until he saw a brother fall through the floor of a burning home to his death that the trauma stayed with him, and it seemed it would never get out of his mind. At the most unexpected times, he would relive the tragedy or hear his brother call for help. Every call became a stressful experience, even the most routine.

Smith thought he just needed time to recover, but the anxiety only escalated. Even stepping foot in the firehouse or completing routine tasks became daunting.

But he never told anyone about what he was experiencing. One day, a crew mate took him aside and said, “I think I know what you’re going through, and I think I can help.”

While this is a fictional account, it depicts an all-too-common behavioral health issue in the fire service.

Emergency responders are more susceptible to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) because of the nature of the profession, coupled with the personal demands and challenges fire fighters and paramedics face.

“IAFF members respond to any number of incredible events, many of them tragic,” says General President Harold Schaitberger. “PTSD is a terrible condition that affects fire fighters and paramedics at double the rate of the general population, and we need a better way to deal with it.”
“People with PTSD are six times more likely to attempt suicide compared to demographically matched controls,” says Dr. Suzy Gulliver, who has participated in a number of studies on PTSD, and currently is founding director and chief of the Warriors Research Institute (WRI), which engages in multidisciplinary studies on the traumatic stress experienced by both soldiers and first responders.
Unfortunately, in many departments, even if the stigma is reduced, there are no programs in place for addressing behavioral health issues. Others may offer employee assistance programs (EAPs) but these are simply a referral line to community services.

“We need to do a better job of recognizing the signs and symptoms and providing the tools to help address it,” says Schaitberger. “Behavioral health services need to be embedded in all fire departments.”
read more here

Israel reported that 9 out of 10 firemen suffer from symptoms of psychological trauma, according to an expert who spoke before a session of the Knesset Labor, Social Welfare and Health Committee

Canada lost 23 firefighters to suicide in the first part of 2014

" Beyond The Call " Full Length PTSD Training Documentary
London Professional Fire Fighters Association

UPDATE from Australia
Vets, paramedics among jobs with highest suicide rates
AUGUST 02, 2015

VETERINARIANS, paramedics, security guards, truck drivers and engineers share some of the state’s deadliest jobs a new report has found.
One of the starkest contrasts is among emergency workers, with Victoria’s paramedics having an average annual suicide rate of 35.6 per 100,000 workers - more than three-and-a-half times higher than police (10 per 100,000), and fire fighters and other emergency workers (10.5).

Only vets recorded a higher suicide rate at 38.2 per 100,000. And in findings that will surprise many, hairdressers (11.2), real estate agents (13.4) and engineers (21) were all found to have higher rates of suicide than police, fire fighters and other non-paramedic emergency workers.

Security guards (34.6) and truck drivers (23.3) are also professions that appear to need greater support.
read more here

Saturday, June 6, 2015

EMT Saving Lives And Paying Price With PTSD

Paying the Price for Saving Lives- Part 2
Local EMT opens up about her struggles with PTSD
Author: Mike Thompson
Published On: Jun 03 2015

"I'm with people at the worst moment of their life, most of the time."

A walk through the woods with camera in hand, takes Stephanie Forrer Harbridge to a place of peace and quiet.

It takes her away from the noise that often clouds her thoughts.

"Some days I feel like I take 5 steps ahead and sometimes I feel like I take 20 steps back."

She uses photography as an escape that helps replace the haunting images of her day job with those of nature's beauty. "Just to go to someplace else," says Stephanie.

"It's like I've got an actual tangible thing that I can picture in my head when I start to think about stuff I don't want to think about."

When she's not snapping photos, Stephanie is saving lives as an EMT with Camp Douglas Rescue. "I'm with people at the worst moment of their life, most of the time."

"I've had some, a couple of really bad calls, one that's affected me quite a bit. I'll never forget it."

It was the week before Christmas a few years back and there was a terrible snow storm and glare ice on the interstate.

Two kids heading home for the holidays were involved in a horrific crash. Stephanie remembers her patient like it was yesterday.

"I had to hold her face together and she was the same age as my daughter was at the time. They told them she had passed and I heard her mom scream on the phone, I never want to hear that again."
read more here

Go here for Paying the Price for Saving Lives Part 1

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Canada lost 23 firefighters to suicide in the first part of 2014

Canada has a huge problem with PTSD. So does the UK. So does Australia. So does America. So do most countries and the ones hit hardest are the ones civilians depend on the most.

They are emergency responders showing up at accidents on the road while the rest of us complain about the traffic and they are not just trying to save lives, but zipping up bodies into bags.

They are firefighters showing up all over the place from the roads to apartment buildings and homes, never knowing when the next call will be their last while we complain our tax dollars pay them to stand around and wait for it to happen.

They are cops on the streets and sheriffs on county roads making sure people behave and when they don't, they risk their lives just trying to stop them from doing worse but we complain about them, blame them and now, they are being attacked.

What most people don't get is most of them are either veterans or members of the National Guards. One more group we claim to honor yet facts prove we don't.

They are all the first to be there when we need help yet the last to ask for help when they need it. When they finally do ask, the help they need isn't there. No matter how much people love to claim they are doing whatever they can, the truth is, it has all been a better than nothing approach to people who constantly give their best up to and including their lives.

This story is out of Canada but it applies to the US as well.
Firefighters raise calls for help with PTSD
'A lot of times you wish your mind would remove what your eyes have seen'
CBC News
Posted: Dec 31, 2014
A Yukon fire crew at work. Some firefighters are calling for legislation like Alberta's that recognizes post-traumatic stress disorder as a hazard of the job. 'This is a very real occupational exposure,' says Ken Block, Edmonton’s fire chief.
(submitted by Jim Regimbal)

Chris Cleland started as a volunteer ambulance driver at age 16. In 2000, he moved on to volunteer firefighting. Over the years, he’s seen many things. “Been to multiple calls of fatalities and calls of friends and what not,” he says.

Last spring, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I don't, won't say that I was at that point of going to suicide, but I wasn't too far away from it.”

Cleland says the challenge he faced getting his treatment covered shows the need for more provinces and territories to follow Alberta’s lead in making it easier for PTSD to be recognized as a hazard of the job.

The Association of Yukon Fire Chiefs is also calling on the Yukon government to give special recognition to PTSD.

“A lot of times you wish your mind would remove what your eyes have seen, some of the fires you're going to and some of the smells and things that you see at the fire,” says Dawson City Fire Chief Jim Regimbal.

“You put them in the back of your brain but they have a tendency to creep back up.”

Regimbal says Canada lost 23 firefighters to suicide in the first part of 2014.

He helped Cleland get coverage through the Yukon Workers Compensation Board — a process Cleland says "felt like “being left behind."

"He first came to me in May," Regimbal says, "and it wasn't until, let's say, October that his case was approved by WCB."
read more here

PTSD I Grieve

(Moved from Great Americans)
I posted this with the video in 2010.
NamGuardianAngel commented on July 25, 2010
This is why we all need to get the word out about this,,,,, National Guard and Reserve suicide rates climbing By DAVID GOLDSTEIN McClatchy Newspapers WASHINGTON -- Suicides among Army and Air National Guard and Reserve troops have spiked this year, and the military is at a loss to explain why. Sixty-five members of the Guard and Reserve took their own lives during the first six months of 2010, compared with 42 for the same period in 2009. The grim tally is further evidence that suicides continue to plague the military even though it's stepped up prevention efforts through counseling and mental health awareness programs. http://www.miam­­/07/25/1745790/n­ational-guard-and-reserve-suicide.html

The worst thing is, nothing has really changed in all these years. There are just more people doing whatever instead of what is needed.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Operation Safety 91 tribute to military

Operation Safety 91 held their 6th tribute to first responders at the Rosen Hotel in Orlando today. This year members of the military took the spotlight. Ed and Mary Ganster did a fabulous job as always putting this together.
The emcee was Tony Mainolfi, WESH2 News Chief Meteorologist. Col. Danny McKnight, Black Hawk Down Ground Commander and Major Jeff Struecker gave really moving speeches about what happened.

Members of law enforcement, firefighters and emergency responders were also honored.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Seminole County Fire and Rescue Earn Praise from Wounded Times

This morning at 4:00 a.m. my husband was shaking and couldn't stop. He kept saying he was freezing but his skin felt cool so the last thought I had was he was running a fever. His whole body was shaking. I called 9-11. First the fire department showed up with members of Engine 27 and they were fantastic. 

The care they took with both of us was soothing in a time of crisis.

Then Seminole County Fire and Rescue 26 came, brought my husband to the hospital and stayed with him for while.

Many people can't understand how important it is to the families in need of more than just medical help in emergencies. The way they act, treat people with patience and care is priceless.

My husband is at the hospital waiting for a room. I had to come home and take care of our dog, so I'll head back there as soon as he has a room. The ER doctor is sure he has Pneumonia. I'll let you know more later but for now, I thought these outstanding crews deserved my praise. I always thought they were fantastic. Now I know for sure they really are a Godsend.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

911 Dispatcher pushes for change after research project

911 dispatcher who took terrifying call pushes for change
Dispatcher gives new insight into deadly salon shooting rampage
May 31, 2013

Emergency calls flooded the 911 dispatch center when four people were gunned down inside of a Casselberry hair salon in October 2012.

"I went on the back porch and cried for a few minutes, then I had to compose myself and go back in to take the next call like it never happened," Brooklyn Mundo said.

Mundo was the dispatcher on duty and took some of the calls.

She turned her experience into a research project, surveying fellow dispatchers.

Mundo's results show 911 operators experience the same level of stress as law enforcement officers.
read more here

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Amid shock at Boston Marathon, a rush to help strangers

Amid shock at Marathon, a rush to help strangers
By David Abel
APRIL 16, 2013

The woman’s eyes stared vacantly into the sky.

The runners had been bounding in, beaming with relief. On both sides of Boylston Street, hundreds of spectators still had packed the area, many cheering with hoarse voices for the late finishers surging in, scores of them every minute. An elderly volunteer greeting runners kept repeating this mantra: “You’re all winners.”

When the first boom shattered the bliss and the haze of white smoke washed over the finish line, I could see in the eyes of the woman what had happened. She wasn’t breathing. She wasn’t moving. Her eyes appeared lifeless as she lay beside the metal barriers on the sidewalk, where dozens of people were sprawled on the concrete, their limbs mangled, blood and broken glass everywhere.

I had been in a crouch shooting video of runners taking their final steps of the race, maybe 10 feet from the blast. I saw runners in front of me fall, at least one of whom appeared wounded. Those beside me at the center of the finish line — Marathon volunteers, security, fellow journalists — fell back as the ground trembled.
read more here
Bostonians and others rush to support stranded visitors
By Lateef Mungin
April 16, 2013

The blasts left many without shelter as hotels were evacuated
Some people posted on websites that they were stranded
More than 100 people offered help on one website

(CNN) -- They're offering their spare rooms, their couches, their food, their cars -- even their own beds.

A huge wave of strangers is greeting the many visitors stranded by the Boston Marathon bombings with a massive outpouring of support.

"We figure this is the least we can do," said Heather Carey, who offered a couch at the home near Boston University she shares with roommates. "I saw a website with many others offering their spaces like we did. It is awesome to see so many people helping."

The twin blasts Monday that left three dead and more than 140 wounded also left countless people without shelter. Investigators turned the heart of Boston into a crime scene, evacuating several hotels. This left dozens of visitors, some of them international runners unfamiliar with the area, stranded.
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When someone does something evil, everyone always asks "Where is God?" but when people rush to help, thinking of others, God is right there.

Police officers, firefighters, Boston National Guardsmen and average citizens rushed to help the wounded and comfort the shocked people after these two bombs exploded.

April 15th, 2013
10:10 PM ET
Runner: Bombs sounded like Afghanistan
Capt. Thom Kenney is an Afghan war veteran who ran the Boston Marathon and finished the race minutes before the bomb attack. He describes what he witnessed to Anderson Cooper.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

National Guard lending a much-needed hand after Sandy

National Guard lending a much-needed hand
Traffic, rescue operations are among the calls of duty
By William McMichael
The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal
Posted : Wednesday Oct 31, 2012

A steady stream of cars coming north through Fenwick Island on Del. 1 came face-to-face with a Delaware National Guard Humvee blocking both travel lanes and soldiers directing them into the left turn lane.

Another Humvee blocked the left turn onto the roadway from Lighthouse Road. A Delaware State Police cruiser parked across northbound Del. 1 completed the blockade.

It was a scene repeated Tuesday across the lower half of the state, particularly in Sussex County, which appears to have gotten the worst of Superstorm Sandy. Guardsmen worked in support of police and other civil authorities to control traffic, assess damage and rescue stranded residents.

“Last night, we were taking people to the Cape Henlopen High School shelter,” said Spc. Matthew Underwood of the 198th Signal Battalion’s A Company, citing evacuations in Long Neck, Georgetown and elsewhere.

Underwood had stopped at a Rehoboth Beach checkpoint before he moved on to help state police with damage assessments.
read more here