First responders are the people we rely on in cases of emergency and they are first on the scene when help is needed, but when sirens are turned off, who’s the hero for them?
Often, symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder go undetected and untreated with first responders.
When nine firefighters lost their lives in the Sofa Superstore fire, the Fallen Firefighters support group was created to be the shoulder that a first responder may need.
”The folks on our team are here to support firefighters, paramedics that are firefighters and paramedics themselves,” said Executive Director Gerald Mishoe.
Mishoe has been working with the mental health of first responders for almost a decade and says education is key to eliminating some of the stigmas around counseling.
“We have an educational piece to our team, where we actually go out and buy training programs and classes for firefighters to educate them on the things in their life that might cause them problems,” he said.
Fallen Firefighters is a full service program for families of first responders as well.
Services are also available to spouses, families members, and children of first responders.
If the trauma that first responders experience requires clinical treatment, they’ve partnered with several hospitals to provide additional help. They also have resources that may be able to pay out-of-pocket expenses.
The Medical University of South Carolina is a five year partner with Fallen Firefighters. They use apps, that anyone can download, to help a responder in need.
To get in touch with Fallen Firefighters, visit their website at www.firefightersupport.org or call them at 843-609-8300. Their office is located at 6390 Dorchester Road in Charleston.