While there are several resources available for dealing with trauma and emergency services, First Responder Core Wellness does endorse these. Please contact us if you know great resources we may be lacking.

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Share the Load™ Support Program for Fire and EMS

Share the Load™ Support Program for Fire and EMS


Most people are aware of the physical demands that first response activities place on firefighters and EMS providers. But it is important to also realize the impact that fighting fires and responding to emergencies has on the mental wellbeing of emergency personnel. Firefighters and EMS providers face the risk of many behavioral health concerns such as anxiety, depression, burnout, post-traumatic stress disorder, and addiction among others.

Taking care of your mental health is as important as managing your physical health. The NVFC’s Share the Load™ program provides access to critical resources and information to help first responders and their families manage and overcome personal and work-related problems. This includes the Fire/EMS Helpline, which offers free 24-hour assistance with issues such as stress, depression, addiction, PTSD, and more.

Additional Sites Share The Load Suggests

Fire/EMS Helpline – 1-888-731-FIRE (3473)

Share the Load™ Resources (Helpletter, poster, ads, family guide, suicide prevention report, training)

  • Share the Load Videos featuring warning signs to watch for, personal stories, how to talk to someone who needs help, and resources that are available.

  • Additional Fire Service and EMS Behavioral Health Resources  (organizations, helplines, reports, courses and webinars)

  • Articles and news on behavioral health topics

International Association of Firefighters

Saving lives can be rewarding and exciting, but the emotional burden of working as a fire fighter or paramedic can also become overwhelming. It’s true that it takes a certain amount of toughness to stomach the heartbreaking work that fire fighters and paramedics do, but over time, the weight of witnessing tragedy can become too much to bear. In an attempt to cope, some turn to substances , while others develop behavioral health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)anxiety, or depression. Some struggle with both. In more severe cases, some may even consider suicide. Suicide is a serious problem in the fire service. In fact, more fire fighters take their own lives nationwide every year than are killed in the line of duty.