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Mark W Lamplugh Jr's Blog (26)

THE VALUE OF PEER SUPPORT IN THE FIGHT AGAINST PTSD AMONGST FIREFIGHTERS

Firеfighting iѕ оnе оf thе wоrld’ѕ greatest occupations, yet, аbоut one of thе mоѕt dаngеrоuѕ and ѕtrеѕѕful job in thе wоrld. Eасh day аnd night, we рlасе ourѕеlvеѕ in harm’s way to come to the rеѕсuе of those whо are mostly in lifе-thrеаtеning diѕаѕtеrѕ. First rеѕроndеrѕ ѕuсh аѕ firеfightеrѕ are еxроѕеd tо trаumа as a nаturаl and unаvоidаblе раrt оf our dаilу routine.

Sреаking оf…

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on May 21, 2019 at 9:09am — No Comments

The Fallen Hero: The look of a firefighter struggling.

Working in the fire service gives a sense of nobility; a purpose that goes beyond just “clocking in.” It is an established honorable profession. Its members are a tight family, a brotherhood that unites when called upon. However, being a member of this family comes at a price. It is not an easy road, nor is it always appealing. Images of the shining fire apparatus and polished uniforms are replaced with images of destroyed homes, patients with horrific burns,…

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on March 20, 2019 at 10:00am — No Comments

Injured on the Job and now Addicted to Pain Medication

Thomas Jefferson once said, “With great risk comes great reward.”  There are numerous rewards and incentives of being a firefighter. We are revered and respected members of our communities, the emotional rewards are boundless, and we are granted a lifetime membership into a brotherhood that is linked to firehouses all around the world.  But, as with most things in life, great rewards are often generated from great risk.  In order for something to be classified…

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on October 21, 2018 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Loving and Supporting a Firefighter With PTSD

The brotherhood of the fire service is unparalleled, understood only by members of this exclusive club.  Firefighters train alongside each other, rise through the ranks, and entrust our lives to each other’s hands. We understand without explanation what other firefighters are experiencing, even when located halfway around the world.  We know the rush of adrenaline when the pager goes off, comprehend feelings of pride and accomplishment, and understand…

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on October 8, 2018 at 11:30am — No Comments

On the Job with PTSD

The news channels, commercials, and social media often emphasize the crisis that is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that plagues our veterans of the past and warfighters of the present, but how often does the PTSD among firefighters publicize? Although the media is beginning to recognize the importance of stress after traumatic events, the first responders rarely seem to get the attention needed to progress in treatment options and solutions. However, even…

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on September 25, 2018 at 10:00am — No Comments

What you should know as a firefighter about PTSD

Most everyone these days is familiar with the acronym PTSD: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Military personnel Are coming back in record numbers suffering from this disorder. PTSD was first added to the DSM by the American Psychiatric Association¹. With the recent wars and military activity, the number of those diagnosed with PTSD has dramatically increased. What we realize now is that PTSD is not limited to those who have served in battle. There is another…

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on August 6, 2018 at 2:30pm — No Comments

EMDR: An Approach to Combat PTSD

People serving in the Public Safety sector are used to acronyms. Codes for various situations, responses, and treatments exist in every department. If you transfer from one department to another, it can almost feel like you have landed in a foreign country. One acronym that everyone is familiar with these days is PTSD-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While many people have heard the term, there is a misconception about what PTSD…

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on March 16, 2018 at 10:00am — No Comments

The Prevalence of Suicide Among Firefighters: The Deaths No One Wants to Talk About

When someone says the word hero, we automatically start thinking about things like courage, nobility, and over-the-top achievements. Heroes go above and beyond the call of duty to help people without giving it a second thought.  They don’t give up no matter how afraid they may be. They’re the kind of people who inspire us to achieve great things in our own lives.

It’s this image that we have of heroes that…

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on January 3, 2018 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Hanging Up the Helmet: Firefighters Preparing for Retirement

Firefighters serve an entire career of being on-call. Nearly every day, they are out and about, working within their communities. Through hosting kindergarten classroom tours, blaring fire engine sirens in the parades, and hosting community barbeques and firefighter balls, they’ve gotten acquainted with the men and women who govern the town and own businesses. The news reporters have written about their heroism in the…

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on October 30, 2017 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Las Vegas Shooting Underscores Toll of Trauma on First Responders

Whenever we hear about a major tragedy in our nation like a terrorist attack, shooting, or natural disaster, our minds go right to the safety and protection needs of those who are affected. As a nation, we grieve their pain and suffering. The most recent tragedy is no different, as America woke up to hear news of a massive…

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on October 6, 2017 at 10:30am — No Comments

Creating Your Own Peer Support Group for Firefighters

Firefighters don’t fight fires or respond to emergencies alone. For the safety of themselves, their peers, and others, they approach crisis situations as a team. The emergencies that firefighters respond to affect them emotionally, long after the crises are under control. Firefighters in the upper ranks have seen first-hand that job-related stress in the firehouse can lead to more serious problems like excessive…

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on September 25, 2017 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Firefighters and Addiction: The Value of Peer Support

When we think of firefighters or any other type of first responder, it often reminds us of the brotherhood that they share. Early in their careers, firefighters learn to lean on one another inside and outside of the station house. For many of them, there’s nothing like hitting the local bar to decompress after a tough call. Some firefighters can manage the stress that accompanies the trauma that they…

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on September 4, 2017 at 9:00am — No Comments

Death Of The Volunteer And Stress Of The Remaining

Young children read many stories about the important work of firefighters. Most people probably have a fond memory of taking a field trip to the fire station during their elementary school years. If they were lucky, they got to climb up into the fire truck or put on a fire hat. Which of us didn’t anxiously await the appearance of sparkling red fire trucks with sirens blazing at the start of every parade? Kids in every city and town dream about one day becoming a heroic firefighter. While…

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on August 7, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments

Does the Aviation Industry Provide a Model for Stress-Induced Addictions in Firefighters?

As part of their benefits package, most companies offer their employees a specified number of days off for holidays, vacation, personal days, and sick time. In the event of an illness or injury that requires extended time off, hopefully, the employer offers the employee the chance to take an unpaid leave of absence to recuperate. Most employers, including entities that employ firefighters, recognize that circumstances…

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on June 29, 2017 at 10:00am — No Comments

Firefighters: Its time to bring down the weight

Faced with one of the most demanding jobs around, firefighters are trained to act in dangerous and volatile situations. Entering unfamiliar structures that are actively on fire with a ton of heavy gear giving limited mobility, is the number one dangerous situation that comes to mind when thinking about firefighters. But on a daily basis we are presented with a multitude of dangerous encounters. Car wrecks on busy highways, power lines struck down in the crash, taking care of medical patients…

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on May 24, 2017 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Even Heroes Ask for Help

"By definition, a hero is a man who battles against overwhelming odds for a cause, an ideal, or for the lives of innocents. The cause and ideal may vary with the morning headlines – while the innocents in today's world of muddy morality, may ultimately prove to be guilty. Which leaves but one constant in the definition: that a hero is, above all, a man... A man subject to pressures and responsibilities far beyond those of his peers. Such is a burden that must take its toll, eventually,…

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on May 2, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments

The Firefighter Recovering

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.…

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on April 17, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Firefighters and The Struggle With Sleep

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…

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on April 3, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments

Compassion Fatigue; Are Firefighters At Risk?

"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:

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on March 20, 2017 at 11:00am — No Comments

S-T-R-E-S-S Those Letters Can Kill Firefighters

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…

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Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on March 2, 2017 at 9:00am — No Comments

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