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Research Study: Police Officers & Firefighters More Likely to Die by Suicide Than in Line of Duty

In a recent white paper published by Ruderman Family Foundation (Heyman, Dill, & Douglas, 2018), it was revealed that firefighters and police officers are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty.The research paper provides statistics for firefighter and police suicides within the past year in comparison to line of duty deaths for each population. More specificially, the paper focuses on trauma exposure and some common resulting consequences, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, and suicide, if left untreated.

Proven Treatments for PTSD

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health issue that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. After being involved in traumatic events themselves or witnessing traumatic events, it is common for most people to experience symptoms like upsetting memories, bad memories, and trouble sleeping (ptsd.va.gov). However, if the symptoms continue longer than a month or several months, a diagnosis of PTSD is possible and you would want to meet with a mental health provider for accurate assessment and diagnosis. 

Services

Cadet Screening: Vitals, height, weight, spirometry, vision, and hearing, and Stress EKG exam will be implemented, the occupational health physician evaluates whether they are medically cleared to perform job tasks for firefighting according to National Fire Protection Association standards.  

Annual Testing: Vitals, height, weight, spirometry, vision, and hearing and fitness exam will be implemented and based off of those results, the occupational health physician will refer appropriate resources if needed.

Role of a Fire Chaplain

Fire Chaplains are non-denominational and provide faith based aid, comfort, counsel and help to our members of the Fire Department, both civilian and sworn, and their families. Fire Chaplains are available to help our members and their families when they are facing some type of tragedy or difficulty in their personal or professional lives. Fire Chaplains are counselors who may be approached in confidence and must hold information provided to them in confidence

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