Survivor's guilt: How to move forward after a line-of-duty death
Surviving a line-of-duty death as a cohesive department is not easy; we must acknowledge the loss and the heartache and seek support from others
By Dr. Shana Nicholson
American Military University
Firefighters and rescue personnel pull on bunker gear and pack up. We cut the cars, start the IVs, push the drugs, save the babies, and hold the hands of our patients and their families. We are the rescuers not the rescued.
We are not supposed to be the ones who die, but it happens. We don’t always come out of the fire and we don’t always survive the impact. We don’t always make it home and we leave behind our fellow firefighters to live with our absence as well as their own grief.
On February 1, 2014, Michael ‘Mikey’ Garrett, a volunteer firefighter, advanced emergency medical services provider and instructor in West Virginia, and my dear friend, gave his life in service of his fellow man. His death was incredibly difficult for many, including his friends, family and fellow firefighters.
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