Firefighters are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty, study reveals

5 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 Thursday, February 20, 2020 3:48:57 PM CST February 20, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
By: Christine Morton, KY3

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –  Firefighters are more likely to die by suicide, than in the line of duty, according to a new study from the Ruderman Foundation

The life of a firefighter is never the same.

"You can be sitting in the station doing your normal daily duties and in two minutes you can be deep in a house that's on fire," said Scott Guccione

Scott Guccione is a firefighter with the Springfield Fire Department. He has been helping his community for nearly 15 years.

"I love to come to work," said Guccione.

Guccione says the stress of the job can take a toll on a person, he says every bad call they go to can stay with that person forever. Guccione says there have been close calls with firefighters attempting suicide, including one they have lost.

This is a brotherhood when one of us is hurting, we all hurt, said Guccione

"For first responders, they are repeatedly exposed to the trauma and stress like you said the people on the worst days of their lives," said Rachel Hudson.

Rachel Hudson works for Burrell Health, working hand in hand with first responders.

"I talked to several who have reported flashbacks and nightmares, being something in and an increase in alcohol," said Hudson.

Guccione says the fire department does have a peer support team people can turn to.

Both Guccione and Hudson say asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

"Without the help of our coworkers, the help of our peers, a family that helps us talk, work through it, get it out, it would be a lot worse," said Guccione.

"Seeing another firefighter, another first responder share is very powerful and can really open up that conversation where they realize they are not alone and there is nothing to be ashamed of," said Hudson.

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