Drills, Fireground Management, Fireground Safety

How Leaders Can Prevent Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Their Firefighters

Issue 4 and Volume 171.

By Jada Hudson Throughout history, leaders have influenced their subordinates’ training, camaraderie, perceptions of their jobs, actions within challenging circumstances, and memories of intense experiences. Leaders in the military, law enforcement, and the fire service hold even greater influence over their subordinates: They prepare them, lead them through, and help them cope with potentially traumatic events (PTEs) in a way that points toward or prevents post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). First Sergeant Spock Army First Sergeant Spock (as he is referred to in the literature, no first name) sparked this movement and the research behind “Leadership & PTSD: Leading So That Your Subordinates Can Weather Traumatic Events and Avoid PTSD.” The U.S. Army and the U.S. Department of Defense, in collaboration with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, sought to determine why his subordinates did not develop PTSD despite facing a significant PTE. In June 2007, Spock was on one of four post-9/11…

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