The cumulative effect of responding to fires, motor vehicle accidents, cardiac arrests and even the mundane routine calls, can have a strong negative psychological impact on a firefighter/EMT’s own mental health. Evidence shows that rates of depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as well as firefighter suicide have increased significantly in the past few years. The power of one of your own, especially a well-respected, seasoned veteran of the fire service sharing their own story of PTSD and the ‘spiraling out of control’ that often goes with it, can help someone else overcome the stigma of reaching out for help. Here, Firefighter-Technician Tyree Kable of Loudoun County Fire and Rescue (Virginia), tells his personal journey with PTSD and how he finally got the help that likely saved his life.
If you need immediate support, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at 1-800-273-8255, or on their website for chat at The Crisis Text Line is available by texting HOME to 741741.
National Volunteer Fire Council Share the Load Program:
Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance:
IAFF Center of Excellence:
Harbor of Grace Enhanced Recovery Center: