Saturday, February 20, 2016

Minnesota Firefighter Fights to Prevent Suicides After His Own Attempt

With Suicides Among Firefighters on the Rise, Minnesota Firefighter Tries to Help
Eyewitness 5 ABC News
Katherine Johnson
February 19, 2016
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 87 firefighters across the country died in the line of duty in 2015. 114 firefighters committed suicide that year. That's up from 109 in 2014 and 69 firefighters in 2013. The Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance started tracking numbers on suicides in 2010.


A Minnesota firefighter is working to reduce the number of suicides among colleagues. "I just don't want this to happen to anyone else," said Frazee firefighter Scott Geiselhart in front of a room filled with firefighters from across the northern half of the state.

He's a firefighter in Frazee, a small town in Becker County with a population of about 1,350 people.

Tuesday night, he traveled to Randall as part of his effort in responding to a crisis that his fellow firefighters don't usually talk about and, he says, don't train on, either.

"I started blaming myself for every single accident I went on," he said.

Geiselhart is telling a story that goes back about a year and a half to the day that he attempted suicide.

"It was a revolver. I put it to my head and I pulled the trigger," he said. The room fell silent.

"I couldn't believe... it clicked and it didn't go off. That gun never ever misfires," Geiselhart said.
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