Firefighter Training, Firefighting, Health & Safety

Safety and Health Week: Firefighter Behavioral Health

Safety and Health Week: Firefighter Behavioral Health

By Mark Lamplugh

As a part of our chosen profession, we suffer injuries on a regular basis. We try to prevent the physical injuries that are an all too common part of being a firefighter. Just as our physical bodies take wear and tear, we may carry a heavy load emotionally from calls and personal challenges.

Behavioral health is often ignored, yet without it every other aspect of firefighting we train for is in jeopardy. We need to complete a daily check-in, making sure we’re 100 percent on the inside and out. Watching out for other brothers and sisters that are showing signs of PTSD, depression, anxiety, alcohol abuse, drugs, and family problems should be a daily task. Use every tool you have, including your behavioral health resources. If you need help, reach out to your Employee Assistance Program.

Because of the nature of our work, we are at high risk, physically and mentally. In the most difficult situations, we place others’ safety and well being before our own. This can take a serious toll on us; remember, every one has a “Tank Full Level” and beware of behavioral health overload.

Mark Lamplugh is a former fire captain with Lower Chichester Fire Company. 

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