Answering the Call

On the DelMarVa Peninsula, we don’t have nearly the call numbers that are seen by major metroplexes like Norfolk, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. but we still get our share of difficult ones. Just within the last few days, our First Responders answered two fatality calls.

crashOne involved a motorcyclist who hit a deer in the middle of the night and was then run over by a car who didn’t see him laying in the road. The other involved a driver who didn’t see that the tractor-trailer ahead of her was slowing down and she drove right into the back of it. She was dead at the scene.

We – Fire and EMS – are trained to file away any and all emotional reaction, including to fatalities. Stuff it, take care of the business at hand, and don’t bring it back up later. But it simply doesn’t work that way.

That doesn’t make you weak – it makes you human. And if you want to continue to handle calls as well as you do, then you need to look for some things in yourself – and your partner – in the same way you look for indications of fire or symptoms in your patient. Watch out for any of these things, and we can all stay Free From The Fire.


From, here is a list of some support and information resources:

Crisis Lines and Online Supports.

  • First Responder specific, Safe Call Now-, 206-459-3020
  • Firestrong, firefighter online-
  • National Programs on Suicide: or 1-800-SUICIDE
  • National suicide prevention lifeline- 800-273-8255

Resources and Sources of Information

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