I have been in the fire-service for almost 25 years. The last 20 have been in the City of Euclid as a paramedic/lieutenant. Over my career I was “that guy” who wouldn’t ask for help or talk about calls that bothered me. I was a part of the “stigma” and had a difficult time opening up and showing that’s it is ok to talk about your feelings.
It is time for a culture change in the fire-service. I’d like to be a part of that change. I am here to tell you that speaking to a “peer” or a mental-health specialist was not only one of the hardest things I’ve done in my career, but also one of the most rewarding. If I can help someone understand it is ok to be vulnerable and talk about those tough calls, I’m willing to put myself out-there. If I can help one person, this journey I’ve gone through will be worth it.
“The Man in The Arena”
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause…
- OAPFF Director of Operations