COMMITTED TO FACILITATING ORGANIC DEVELOPMENT OF A STATEWIDE PEER SUPPORT NETWORK. ONE PEER, ONE AGENCY, AND ONE REGION AT A TIME WITH DEDICATED TRAUMA INFORMED PEERS, CHAPLAINS, AND MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDERS.
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.
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.
Articles and news on behavioral health topics
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.