Protect your mental health: Stop doing these 5 things

Silence and judgment can wreak havoc on a firefighter’s mental health

By Nick Halmasy

The smoke and debris have settled. Hot spots are extinguished. The trucks are clean and back in service. The constant hum of the engines and the roar of the flames is just wearing off and your shoulders still ache from your pack.

The call is done.

But now your mind races with what you should have done quicker, how the tanker was delayed, how the pump lost its prime. Thoughts about whom to blame, and certainly thoughts about blaming yourself, start a chaotic tornado in your mind. But you don’t have a briefcase in which to leave behind the work of the day. Inevitably, you take some of this with you when you’re done.

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