Utah Fire Fighters Establish Crisis Hotline
January 7, 2013 – Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States and has been on the rise among fire fighters. Recognizing this issues, the Professional Fire Fighters of Utah (PFFU) has created a resource to help fire fighters who may need it.
With the assistance of the University of Utah’s Neuro-Psychiatric Unit, the PFFU developed the Firefighter Crisis Support and Suicide Awareness support line.
“Employers in Utah have been pretty good about offering critical incident stress relief resources and other health resources to fire fighters, but this is one component that we always felt was missing,” says PFFU President Jack Tidrow. “With this hotline, we hope to prevent any unfortunate events among our members.”
Over the past year, the PFFU and the University of Utah worked together to organize the hotline. As part of this effort, three counselors have received training on what it is like to be a fire fighter and the unique stresses they face on and off the job.
The hotline has been active for less than two months and, already, one fire
fighter’s life has been saved. “Every life we protect makes this effort worth it
to me,” says Tidrow.
The crisis line is free and available around the clock.