IAFF trains firefighters to become PTSD peer support

The IAFF trained firefighters how to recognize the warning signs of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and substance abuse


By FireRescue1 Staff

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Firefighters underwent training this week to recognize signs of mental health problems among their colleagues. 

The International Association of Fire Firefighters trained firefighters how to recognize the warning signs of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and substance abuse. 

“We go into burning buildings. We try and fix situations,” Asheville Fire Capt. Anna Pigman told WLOS. “So it’s especially challenging to ask for help when you can’t fix it yourself.”

The training will allow firefighters to act as peer support for colleagues.

“We’re all there for each other, we’re there to take care of one another, and there’s nobody you trust more than the guy that’s riding next you in the truck,” firefighter Matt Ballance said. 

Suicide awareness training was recently added to rookie academy training, as well.

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