Special Edition for Suicide Prevention Day

Category: 
Firefighter Health First-Aid
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Sep 2020

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline logo with a two tone ribbon behind the words and phone number.National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-TALK (8255) 24/7

It is fair to say that since the recognition of COVID-19 in March, our workforce has been in a Planning Level (PL5) level of reaction.  We have been forced to adapt rapidly with ever-changing policies. This alone has created a stressful environment for many, and if you are feeling this way, you are not alone.

Our work as firefighters is not limited to wildfires any longer but has expanded to all risk, which brings even more exposure to stressful situations. Hurricanes, longer assignments, busier seasons, devastating fires…sound familiar? More time away from home and experiencing more stress can take its toll.

Learning to recognize the indicators that you or someone on your crew/unit/team needs additional support can be the difference that saves a life.

The mental health continuum can be used as a tool to help build resiliency, allowing for recovery from stressful events and reducing the chance of suicide.

ACTION:

1 – YOU: Assess where you are currently on the spectrum.

2 – As a CREW:  Have each person on the crew write down three signs they exhibit when they are stressed as well as several things they enjoy doing to relieve stress.

Talking about stress can bring a crew/unit/team closer together, but it’s not always easy to do.  Consider discussing these questions to chat about stress and how to manage stress:

  • How do you exhibit stress?
  • Do co-workers have insights on how you exhibit stress?
  • What stress-relief activities and strategies do you share with your co-workers?

Shows the level of stress from Ready (green), Reacting (yellow), Injured (orange), and Ill (red), with a definition for each level.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 24/7

 

Additional Resources

Incident Management Situation Report (IMSR)
Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461
NWCG Standards for Helicopter Operations, PMS 510
RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR)
Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations (Red Book)
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center

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