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Legislation Supports Fire Fighters’ Mental Health

October 2, 2019

With the increased awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), presumptive laws for PTSD have been introduced throughout the United States and Canada in recent years. Forty-eight states and 12 provinces and territories currently have presumptive laws covering cancer and other occupational illnesses, but until recently there have been few protections for job-related behavioral health conditions. […]

Dealing With a Negative Crew Member: Seven Skills to Try

September 29, 2019

Experiencing positive social connections is critical to individual resilience. This is especially true in the fire service. Think about your typical shift at the firehouse. Often, it’s not how many calls you run that determines how the day will go — it’s the crew you are working with and the quality of those interactions. Research […]

12 Questions to Ask Yourself If You Drink Alcohol

September 26, 2019

It’s no secret that alcohol has historically played a central role in the social traditions and culture of the fire service. Fire fighters will offer a variety of reasons for drinking alcohol — it builds comrade, enhances celebrations or eases the transition home after a long shift. But for those with co-occurring mental health disorders, alcohol is […]

Two Years Later: Checking in With a Fire Fighter in Recovery

September 24, 2019

Eric Fessenden, a 32-year veteran fire fighter and active-retired member of Montgomery County, MD Local 1664, sought treatment at the IAFF Center of Excellence in June 2017. His struggles with explosive anger and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were costing him important relationships. It’s been two years since Fessenden — who was featured in Fire Fighter […]

The Price of Living: Survivor’s Guilt in Fire Fighters

September 17, 2019

At some point in their lives and careers, fire fighters will experience grief. Some of the grieving process is influenced by the unique aspects of the job. What Is Survivor’s Guilt? Fire fighters and paramedics have a calling to serve others, protect their community and each other. When a fatal fire, line-of-duty death or suicide […]

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