Firefighters, like all warriors, are constantly exposed to traumatic events that can develop into PTSD. Studies indicate that as many as 37% of firefighters may experience some form of post-traumatic stress.
How do firefighters get PTSD?
Post traumatic stress can be caused by one significant occurrence, or a series of multiple events. These include running into burning buildings, fatal car wrecks, responding to attempted or completed suicides, children’s death or serious injury, or losing a brother in the line of duty. Critical incidences are subjective, and can affect different people in different ways, based on their life experiences.
The event can be considered big, such as a child’s death, a major fire, or something else completely. The event can also be a small incident or a series of incidents that occur over time. It just takes one occurrence to trigger a negative mental reaction.
Supervisors and those who begin firefighting at a young age are at greater risk of post traumatic stress. Those who endure multiple traumatic events in short succession also are at greater risk to experience some signs of PTSD.