Agencies Boost Efforts to Stop Wildland Firefighter Suicides

August 23, 2019

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

Las Vegas Review-Journal

As suicide among wildland firefighters appears to increase, federal agencies are working to address it. While there is a lack of data on the occupation’s suicide rates, personal reports suggest they may be rising. In response, federal agencies are increasing their efforts to connect firefighters with help and encourage those who are struggling to talk about it. The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) has expanded a program that teaches coping skills and offers crisis services to firefighters affected by trauma and other mental health issues. “It’s not a profession where people want to reach out for help because they are the help,” said NIFC spokesperson Jessica Gardetto. “The federal agencies have realized, whether it’s suicidal tendencies or just overall mental health, [help] needs to be available—even out on the fire lines.”

Spark Extra! Learn more about suicide in the wildland fire service.