'I remember every tragic thing I've seen' - Local firefighters open up about mental health
News Channel 9
January 30, 2019
"The worst things that I've personally seen are burn injuries to children," Hyman said. "Trauma to children, those are some of the worst ones."
The Chattanooga Fire Department launched a peer support program in an effort to help firefighters deal with the mental stress of their jobs. (Image: Jim Lewis)
It doesn't go away at the end of the shift.
"I remember every tragic thing I've seen, especially kids," Lewis said.
Suicides among first responders are on the rise, says Chattanooga Fire Chief Phil Hyman.
"Our firefighter suicides throughout the nation have actually exceeded the line of duty deaths that we have," Chief Hyman said. "In 2017 we had 103 firefighter suicides, and only 93 line of duty deaths."
First responders deal with death and destruction, sometimes on a daily basis.
"We expose our members to a lot of bad stuff that's the nature of our job," Hyman said. "Most of the stuff you see you can't unsee."
Dallas Bay Volunteer Firefighter and Chaplain Jim Lewis says, "It's a slideshow in your head."
A sickening slideshow of tragic images.
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