If we can handle the heat, we can handle this. If we can handle the blood, we can handle this. If we can handle the loss of life, we can handle this. If we can handle a hundred pounds of gear, we can handle this.
Integrity is a mandate for First Responders, so if I call you a “liar” right now, you’re probably going to look for the nearest halligan to explain to me the err of my ways.
But you are a liar – to yourself, of all people. And the anvil of pride can drag you to the bottom.
For this cartoon, Paul Combs decided to tag-team with Sarah Gura, “who is following the noble calling of helping firefighters save ourselves, so we may continue to save others.” Here are her words, as published by FireEngineering.com in an article titled “Suicide Prevention Day”:
“I hope firefighters realize that this is real; and I hope that a firefighter who is going through exactly what this image portrays wakes up and sees that he is not alone. So many firefighters ask me to tell them how many firefighters I treat in the therapy office. They want to know for what, and if they’re making progress. Firefighters want to hear first if this is real before they step forward and admit they are struggling.
“Well here is your answer! How can this image be here if it didn’t convey some sort of truth? How could it have the effect it will have, as firefighters view it and feel the feelings it forces them to experience if it was not true or relevant? You are not alone. You do not have to feel this way, or go through this!”
“Firefighters want to hear first if this is real before they step forward and admit they are struggling.” – Professional Counselor Sarah Gura
It takes a mighty big man or woman to go into a burning building, treat a bleeding victim, and carry a dead infant. Why would it take any less stature to admit that you need someone to come alongside you? Have you got what it takes to help someone else, or let someone else help you stay Free From The Fire?
From FDIC.com, here is a list of some support and information resources:
Crisis Lines and Online Supports.
- First Responder specific, Safe Call Now- http://www.safecallnow.org or 206-459-3020
- Firestrong, firefighter online- http://www.firestrong.org
- National Programs on Suicide: http://www.suicide.org or 1-800-SUICIDE
- National suicide prevention lifeline- 800-273-8255
Resources and Sources of Information