Post traumatic stress disorder continues to be a condition associated with soldiers returning from war and is rarely used to describe the problems experienced by many firefighters and first responders at home. “Firefighters and others who work to serve the public encounter difficult situations on a daily basis and the stress resulting from these situations often has a detrimental effect on firefighter mental health. The North American Fire Fighter Veteran Network works to help those experiencing stress handle these situations and the accompanying thoughts and feelings,” S.H. Pennington of The North American Fire Fighter Veteran Network declares.
Firefighter depression and suicide continue to be problems often not addressed in fire stations across the country, yet hundreds of firefighters have taken their own lives in the past decade. According to Fire Engineering, somewhere between seven and 37 percent of firefighters struggle with post traumatic stress disorder, based on current criteria for this diagnosis. “Firefighter stress remains a very real issue and the North American Fire Fighter Veteran Network offers a range of programs designed to help first responders understand mental illness, PTSD and suicide prevention,” Pennington explains.
North American Fire Fighter Veteran Network offers a wide range of materials and programs to assist those in need of help. First responders need to check out the bill of rights, understand the firefighter self care disaster management plan created to help responders deal with daily trauma and learn more about how animals, including horses and service dogs, can become a vital part of any treatment plan. “No first responder is immune to the stress of everyday tasks. A fire chief is just as likely to be affected as a rookie out on his or her first call The more first responders understand the help that is available to them, the easier it becomes to address mental health issues which affect firefighters and first responders everywhere. North American Fire Fighter Veteran Network provides assistance for those in need in these and many other areas,” Pennington states.
FIRST STEP HOPE addresses the problems faced by firefighters and first responders. From the initial response to a trauma to the exiting of the profession, firefighters and first responders are not alone. “Not all wounds are visible which is why the FIRST STEP HOPE presentation was created. It addresses grief, traumatic loss, PTSD and suicide prevention and intervention to help first responders deal with depression and stress as these heroes put their lives on the line for citizens everyday. They deserve nothing less than the best when it comes to their mental health and North American Fire Fighter Veteran Network is committed to providing the best care currently available,” Pennington proclaims.
About North American Fire Fighter Veteran Network:
North American Fire Fighter Veteran Network, located in BC and Washington State, understands first responders undergo exposure to traumatic events on a daily basis and, over time, the exposure accumulates inside the responder. Thanks to the accumulation of the stressful trauma, everyday thoughts or actions change in a manner that leads to the responder doubting him or herself, resulting in the need for outside intervention. Emergency care givers need to seek competent assistance to progress into a healthy future and North American Fire Fighter Veteran Network remains committed to providing this assistance.
Visit http://www.firefighterveteran.com/ for more information.
Name: S. H. Pennington
Organization: North American Fire Fighter Veteran Network