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Ohio FD reports firefighter’s death by suicide

Canton Firefighter/Paramedic Jared Kneale had been a member of the department since 2015

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By Bill Carey

CANTON, Ohio —The Canton Fire Department is mourning the loss of 42-year-old Firefighter/Paramedic Jared Kneale, who died by suicide on May 17.

“It is with the permission of Jared’s wife and children that wish to share that Jared’s death was the result of suicide due to a post-traumatic stress-related illness,” the department stated in a social media post.

“Jared’s family and our members are struggling to make sense of his decision to take his own life but we have collectively agreed his passing cannot be for nothing. We MUST and we WILL make something positive come out of Jared’s death. In his final moments, Jared signaled to us his wishes to use his death to help bring awareness to firefighter mental health. We urge our fellow brothers and sisters to reach out to one another.”

The National Fallen Firefighters Association highlighted a study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, which found that approximately 20% of firefighters and paramedics meet the criteria for post-traumatic stress at some point in their careers, compared to a 6.8% lifetime risk in the general population, the Canton Repository reported.

Kneale, who served with the second Battalion and was assigned to Ladder Truck 1, had been with the department since April 2015. He was a member of the TROT team and played a vital role in the radio division, according to the department.

He is survived by his wife and six children.