The number one step is to forgive yourself. You are not a defective piece of equipment. You are never a failure for your feelings. There is no dishonor in what you have experienced. In fact, many of the strongest, kindest, noblest firefighters I ever met had come through some terrible darkness and lived to see the other side. Suicide attempts, opiate addiction, alcoholism, poverty, and crime. To come to terms with the dark parts of your history requires great integrity and courage.…Continue
Posted on April 17, 2017 at 1:00pm
You’re rolling around in your bunk. Your weary eyes gaze through the gloom to your digital clock - 3:00 AM. You turn again and sigh. One minute, you’re too hot and kick at your sheets. The next, too cold. You can hear your buddy snoozing on the other side of the room - why can’t you be like him? You know a call could come at any time, but you try to force that thought from your mind. You need rest. You screw your eyes shut, and immediately the day’s events start playing over again in your…Continue
Posted on April 3, 2017 at 11:42am
"Compassion fatigue" is a term that may be unfamiliar to some, but is rapidly becoming a recognized issue in our society. One day, fire culture may see compassion fatigue listed and treated as a mental hazard along with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Indeed, the two are often parallel . But what is compassion fatigue?
One of the pioneers of our understanding of compassion fatigue was Dr. Charles Figley, who defined it as follows:
Posted on March 20, 2017 at 11:00am
Firefighting has always been an occupation fit only for the brave. In the firefighting community in America today, we face unprecedented new challenges. There is no escaping the reality that the fire situation is getting worse, particularly for firefighters on the ground.
Firefighters are increasingly being asked to cover more areas of expertise in more complex fire environments. Many fire departments are now required to cover Advanced Life Support incidents if they want…Continue
Posted on March 2, 2017 at 9:00am