Yea, Firefighter Lives Matter Too

by Captain Willie Wines
Wooden Ladders and Iron Firemen

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Read Willie’s article HERE

Don Prince and Peggy Sweeney, Co-Founders of Station House Retreat wish to thank Willie for his support and endorsement of our recovery facility for first responders with addiction.

If you are a first responder and struggling with an addiction, please contact Don Prince toll free at 855-525-HELP [4357] any time, day or night.

Firefighter Wife, Flame fest and Mental Health… what I didn’t tell you

by Captain Willie Wines
Wooden Ladders and Iron Firemen

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Read Willie’s article HERE

If you are a first responder and struggling with an addiction, please contact Don Prince at Station House Retreat toll free at
855-525-HELP [4357] any time, day or night.

Dealing with a Line of Duty Death – A Police Officer’s Perspective

by Maryanne Pope

The following interview took place on Oct 26th, 2014 between Maryanne Pope (Constable John Petropoulos’ widow and author of the Crossing the Line blog series) and Rick Gardner, who was John’s Sergeant and close friend at the time of his death. [Calgary Police Service Recruit Class #117: Constable John Petropoulos (centre) of above photo]

Maryanne: What impacts – emotional, psychological, spiritual and physical – did John’s death have on you personally?

Rick: Emotionally, John’s death hit me really hard. When John went into that building, I was there. I was the supervisor and John ended up getting injured on my watch. John wasn’t just a colleague, he was a good friend. I had golfed with him 7 or 8 times that year. I had renovated his bathroom. We had a professional and personal relationship – and I had got to know John better than many.

Psychologically, I was responsible for John before his death. After his death, I was responsible for his family, you and his team mates. Sometimes I get flashbacks of things that I didn’t remember then but do remember now. I just get glimpses now and then of things that happened that night – not all at once…they just come in small bits. Continue reading Dealing with a Line of Duty Death – A Police Officer’s Perspective

You Don’t Know Me

by Ross Beckley

TRIGGER WARNING – some readers may find this disturbing

You don’t know me. Yet I stood by you through one of the most horrific times of your life. I stood in the freezing cold all night surrounded by a public screen to ensure no-one else had to see the carnage. I heard the screams of a mother as she arrived and was told she would never see her child alive again. Screams of unimaginable grief and disbelief that continue to echo in my dreams. I spent 8 hours making small talk while my crew and I patiently waited for investigations to take place. I kept everyone calm, organized crews, shared information with other first responders, helped the guy who came to pick up the bodies and the towie who removed the cars.

You don’t know me. You are my friend, my cousin, my aunt.

You know I was an emergency service worker for 20 years, responding to incidents involving strangers in their time of need. You know I was on call in excess of 100 hours a week as a retained firefighter, always on alert in case the call for help came through. You know I placed my job before my family, before my social times and before my business. As the years went on, I became more and more concerned about being the reliable one, the one to put his hand up to help. After all, crews were always short. Someone had to put their hand up. But you don’t know what toll this commitment was taking on my relationship, my business and my sanity.

You don’t know me.  Continue reading You Don’t Know Me

Through a Glass Darkly: A Eulogy for Pastor John

Sad news…. Dr Phil Lineberger who wrote this article four years ago has died by suicide on May 31, 2015. No one knows the depths of depression one person experiences. May Pastor Phil rest with his friend, Pastor John, in heaven.

by Doctor Phil Lineberger, Senior Pastor
Sugar Land (TX) Baptist Church

Editor’s Note: On February 9, 2011, Pastor John Petty died by suicide at the age of 42. John was married and had two young children. He also had a large church family and many friends, all of whom were stunned and confused by his death. Continue reading Through a Glass Darkly: A Eulogy for Pastor John

Five Questions on Department Mental Health Every Fire Chief Should Review

by Peggy Sweeney
The Sweeney Alliance

Being a fire chief is never an easy job. Whether you lead a volunteer company of 10 or a career department of several thousand, your bottom line is, or should be, the physical safety and mental and emotional wellness of your men and women.

In 1997, I wrote the Grieving Behind the Badge training program because I realized that mental and emotional health were not being addressed by a vast majority of fire departments. Unfortunately, the story remains the same today for many departments in North America. We continue to focus on the statistical number gathering rather than addressing the needs of firefighters. In other words, we take count of those who suffer from post traumatic stress (PTS) or have died by suicide rather than reviewing and implementing noteworthy programs that provide lifesaving information on depression, PTS, and suicide prevention/intervention. Continue reading Five Questions on Department Mental Health Every Fire Chief Should Review

"Improving the lives of emergency response professionals"

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