Firefighters form peer mental health support group
The department's Behavioral Health Task Force was created to get firefighters to talk to each other and help deal with their high-stress lifestyle
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The mental and emotional health of fire fighters and first responders has been getting more attention in recent years and a group of Anchorage firefighters have been relying on each other for support.
John Paff, a captain at Station 1 of the Anchorage Fire Department has over 30 years of service combined between the United States Military and the AFD. Paff wants to do more for behavioral health for firefighters due to the high-stress nature of their jobs. "We all have pressures on us, whether it is home or it could be from our work it could or through our finances, through our kids. We all have a lot of pressures put on us, and the firefighters here in the state."
As part of this initiative, Paff and other members of the Anchorage Fire Department's Behavioral Health Task Force decided to create the 'Alaska Fire Fighter Peer Support Network' to get firefighters to talk to each other.