You run into burning buildings. You crawl into tiny unstable spaces. You tear apart glass and steel with your hands and tools. You stop blood jetting from their body. You establish an airway for the sweet taste of fresh air. You help someone who needs help.
But no one expects you to stow away all those horrible sights, sounds, smells and tastes as neatly as you do the equipment and supplies on your rig. So that you can help others more, you must help yourself.
No marathon runner can run marathon after marathon after marathon. They need to recover. And so do you. But no First Responder wants to admit their need. The same stoicism that lets you do your job day after day gets in the way.
At the sign of blood, you’re trained to stop it. At the sign of smoke, you’re trained to stop it. Because if you don’t, it could lead to something worse. At the sign of stress, you need to talk to someone, to stop it before something worse happens.
And each of your Fire and EMS family is there with you without judgement. Review these signs – know them. Train yourself to respond accordingly if you see them in your self – or your fire or EMS family – and you’ll continue in this field that we so desperately need you in. The response is simple – just talk.