HEROES

by Rick Workman

Rick Workman
Rick Workman

I post this in honor of those members of fire/rescue/EMS/law enforcement who have gone to their rest. I have been in the position to say goodbye to some of my “Heroes” and mentors, and it’s a hard place to stand. I thank you all for what I received from each of you. To your credit or detriment, you helped make me the public servant I am today.

He was an old hand
I was just a rookie EMT
We rode together to a fire call
In December of ’83
Everybody on that scene
Gave it everything they had
But it was an old two story structure
It couldn’t end any way but bad
When all was said and done
A woman and her baby had perished in the flames
The old hand looked at me and said
Before we leave, be sure and get their names
As we headed in, the roaring of the engine
Was the only thing to make a sound
I saw from the light of the dashboard
That he had tears freely flowing down
He didn’t try to stop ’em
He couldn’t if he’d tried
But, that’s the first time I knew
Heroes cried Continue reading HEROES

The Tyranny of Feeling

by Ian Adams

K-9 Officer Adams and Pyro
K-9 Officer Adams and Pyro

During a class last week, a lady made the comment: “That’s the problem with police, you don’t show enough feeling. You don’t feel enough.” She’s adopted without examination that particularly dangerous leftist idea that this nation’s protectors are inhuman security robots, walking through the world without experiencing it. Her assumption that those who purchase peace through violence are somehow less deserving. Anyway, I stewed over the weekend on it, and wrote the following this morning. Continue reading The Tyranny of Feeling

Just Call Me Alice

by Karen Solomon

Karen Solomon
Karen Solomon

Sometime after the incident in Ferguson, I jumped down the rabbit hole and haven’t been able to make my way back out. I’ve looked around, there is no exit. Well, there is for me, sort of. I’m not injured, disabled, have PTSD or suffering from the absence of a career that defined me. I still can’t find the exit and believe me I’ve looked for it.

On October 7, the Washington Post ran an article entitled: FBI Director calls lack of data on police shootings ‘ridiculous’, ‘embarrassing’”. I gleefully opened the article expecting to find a ladder. Unfortunately, his definition of ‘police shootings’ and mine aren’t the same. Director Comey was referring to the lack of data surrounding police use of deadly force. Perhaps I misunderstood him, but I did not misunderstand the article. Continue reading Just Call Me Alice

Hope – The Antithesis of Suicide

by Renae Griggs

“Each suicide drama occurs in the mind of a unique individual.” ~Edwin Shneidman

Renae Griggs
Renae Griggs

Any carefully considered discussion about suicide must be carried out with the explicit understanding that the decision to end one’s life is filled with colossal complexities. The multi­dimensional aspects of completing suicide have been studied and theorized by great minds that do not categorically agree. No doubt in part because this is not an equation for which experts can develop a replicable mathematical or scientific formula to prove the validity of their hypothesis. There are simply far too many variables. People who carry out their own death take with them the unique characteristics of their own path to that choice, and we must respect that fact. Each with their own story…their own motivations…their own individual calculations and beliefs. Continue reading Hope – The Antithesis of Suicide

The Emotional Impact of 9/11 on the FDNY ~~~ A Personal View

by William Groneman III
Captain (Retired)
Fire Department City of New York (FDNY)

The Fire Department of the City of New York was no stranger to grief by the summer of 2001. Since its inception as a paid, professional department in 1865 the FDNY had lost 796 of its own in the line of duty. The latest occurred as recently as August 28 when a young firefighter lost his life at an auto body repair shop fire. At the time the department was still reeling from an explosion and collapse of a hardware store fire on Father’s Day at which three seasoned firefighters died. Eight children were left fatherless on Father’s Day.

The first hijacked plane hit the north tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 am. Fire Department units operating at a gas leak a few block north actually witnessed the attack. The department responded immediately and went to work. During the next hour and forty-two minutes 343 members of the department died. Continue reading The Emotional Impact of 9/11 on the FDNY ~~~ A Personal View

Why is There Suicide in the Fire Service?

by Peggy Sweeney
The Sweeney Alliance

Author’s Note: I address firefighters in this article, but the information provided applies to any and all emergency response and public safety professionals.

Peggy Sweeney
Peggy Sweeney

Suicide is a very serious topic that we rarely discuss. Each year, thousands of adults and children either attempt or complete suicide to resolve problems or put an end to emotional pain. As a result of their deaths, surviving family members and friends not only grieve, but must cope with feelings of guilt, anger, and the archaic stigma associated with suicide.

Suicide is a major, preventable public health problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2010 it was the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for 38,364 deaths.

Based on data about suicides in 16 National Violent Death Reporting System states in 2009, 33.3% of suicide descendents tested positive for alcohol, 23% for antidepressants, and 20.8% for opiates, including heroin and prescription pain killers.

Continue reading Why is There Suicide in the Fire Service?

I Was Not Able to Protect My Daughter

by Peggy Sweeney
The Sweeney Alliance

Author’s Note: Several years ago, a detective from a metropolitan police department sent me an email concerning the death of his 17-year-old daughter. She had been brutally murdered by her boyfriend and the anniversary of her death was fast approaching. Vince was struggling with several grief issues, one of which was his perception that as a police officer he was unable to protect her and save her life.

With his permission, I am sharing my response to his email in the hopes that it will help other bereaved dads, especially those of you in law enforcement and emergency response who may be coping with some of the same issues. Continue reading I Was Not Able to Protect My Daughter

The Sweeney Alliance: Who We Are, What We Do

by Peggy Sweeney Founder and President

TSA 80X60The Sweeney Alliance has been a leader in educational resources addressing the emotional needs of families and professionals since 1992.

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Sweeney Alliance, a non-profit, is to:

– Teach emergency first responders how to cope with the mental and emotional traumas of their professions.

– Provide financial assistance to first responders and their families seeking treatment for addiction, mental health concerns and physical disabilities.

– Build a legacy of financial support to meet these goals through fundraising and charitable donations.

Continue reading The Sweeney Alliance: Who We Are, What We Do

Press Release

December 3, 2015
Press Release

CONTACT
Peggy Sweeney
The Sweeney Alliance
peggy@sweeneyalliance.org
sweeneyalliance.net

The Sweeney Alliance Announces New Appointments to Their Board of Directors

Kerrville, Texas – Peggy Sweeney, founder and president of the Texas-based, non-profit company, the Sweeney Alliance, is pleased to announce the appointment of two new directors to its board of directors. The new appointees are Peter Billera of Firefighter Mortgages and Reverend Bill Minson of TUDAY Ministries.

Mr. Billera began serving his community as a volunteer firefighter with the Jericho (NY) Fire Department in 1987.  In 1992, he was hired by the Palm Beach County (FL) Fire-Rescue where he served as a career FF/Paramedic until he sustained a career ending injury.  In 1996, Peter began originating home loans for firefighters, first responders, and their family members.  It subsequently evolved into what is now Firefighter Mortgages where, along with some brother firefighters, he serves members of the public safety community nationwide.

Reverend Minson formed TUDAY Ministries in 1979 to motivate, inform and inspire youth. The last decade proved to be the cornerstone of TUDAY Ministries thirty-four year Gospel ministry of service. He served as a Red Cross and Salvation Army chaplain following the 9/11 attacks, and continues to provide spiritual care, counsel and advocacy support to 9/11, Oklahoma City and Katrina families. Bill produced and directed the documentary SAVE THE BRAVE on YouTube, which helped passage in the US Congress of the Zadroga Bill to assist sick and dying 9/11 Responders and their families.

“We strive to build a very strong leadership foundation, and couldn’t be more pleased with these appointments. Both of these individuals, with diverse experiences and backgrounds, have a passionate commitment to serving the needs of first responders and their families because they understand the many personal and professional struggles that today’s emergency service and public safety professionals must deal with. I am very honored to have Peter and Reverend Bill working with me and as members of our board of directors,” said Peggy Sweeney, founder and president.

About the Sweeney Alliance
The Sweeney Alliance, established in 2002 as a not-for-profit organization, is dedicated to providing training, resources and financial support for emergency responders, public safety personnel, and their families in North America. For more information about the Sweeney Alliance, please visit http://www.sweeneyalliance.net.

"Improving the lives of emergency response professionals"

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