Author: IAFF Center of Excellence Staff
Brian Garber began in the fire service as a volunteer in 1998. He became a paramedic in 2004 and appointed to the City of Canton Fire Department in 2007. He currently serves as the Union President of the CPFFA L249, and as Trustee for the Hall of Fame CLC-AFL-CIO. Through working with and for firefighters and other union workers he felt a need to assist those who are suffering from mental/behavioral health. In the fire service we have a long history of drug and alcohol abuse. Recently we have seen a spike in reporting of firefighter suicide ideations and attempts. As a brother firefighter of those who have taken their lives, lost employment and personal relationships/friendships secondary to drugs/alcohol and mental health he decided to step up and help where possible. He joined the Stark County CISM Team in 2015. He also received training from the IAFF and joined the OAPFF Peer Support Team in 2016.
Brian is married to Angela (2005) and has three boys Bradly (11), Jakob (9), and Evann (7). He enjoys spending time with his family. He also likes to hunt, fish, kayak, hike and all things outdoors.
“We learned in academy to protect first yourself, then your partner(s), then the victims. However we spend our careers helping complete strangers in their darkest of days, while often overlooking ourselves and our brother and sister firefighters. We need to be more aware of our own mental and behavioral health and those in our firefighting family. Do not wait to speak up if you see or hear something of concern. It is time to put actions before words and fulfill our training to protect our own.” Brian Garber07cfd133@gmail.com