Thursday, October 17, 2019

Talking firefighter wellness, PTSD and suicide with Ryan Rodriquez

It was Ryan's dream to become a firefighter/paramedic and join the brotherhood of men and women that put their lives on the line to help others in need. He has lived and worked for close to 15 years as a professional firefighter and has learned a lot about what it takes to maintain physical and mental health while sustaining a healthy balance in his personal and professional life. Unfortunately, there is an increasing number of our brothers and sisters who are finding it more difficult to do so. In 2017, firefighter and first-responder suicides surpassed line of duty deaths (LODDs) for the first time ever. This devastating news has revealed that we have a very real problem within the fire service community and it MUST not be ignored! Enter IGNITEd! IGNITEd is a battalion of firefighters who challenge the status quo through self-improvement and accountability. Their working environments must be positively influenced and in order to improve them, we must first improve ourselves. The IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast is a way to shed light on the issues facing us today as well as provide some strategies to help manage those challenges. We become stronger as we build each other, but we must first make sure that we are taking care of ourselves. Otherwise, we can't take care of those we are sworn to serve. It's time to OWN IT when it comes to our physical and mental health as well as how we treat each other within our organizations!

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