DENVER - More than 7,000 firefighters surveyed overwhelmingly reported they've experienced stressful and traumatic experiences on the job, with 75% suffering ongoing mental or emotional issues as a result. As firefighters nationwide experience extreme stress, the First Responder Center for Excellence prepares to host the first-of-its-kind Fire Service Behavioral Health Symposium in Denver.
Research reveals that firefighters experience elevated rates of depression, alcohol problems and repeated exposure to traumatic events resulting in sleep disorders, avoidance behaviors, and feelings of helplessness associated with PTSD. Additional symptoms of repeated traumatic exposure for firefighters include desensitization, irritability, cynicism and intrusive flashbacks. Studies also reveal that first responders often avoid seeking help for emotional problems and the majority who reach out for Employee Assistance Program support find it unhelpful.
Fire departments nationwide are looking for a strategic solution to strengthen firefighter wellness. Dixon Fire Chief Greg Lewis has achieved great success by providing his firefighters with a CordicoFire Wellness App. “The issue of mental wellness in public safety has been in a closet or ignored for far too many years," said Chief Lewis. "By providing complete anonymity, 24/7 access, the ‘Wellness Tool Kit’ and self-assessment capabilities all from a personalized application right from a mobile phone, a large gap in the mental wellness issue has been addressed. Our staff is very grateful the City has given them this tool that can be used at any time by both the employee and their spouse.”
"We needed a proactive solution for firefighters everywhere," said Dr. David Black, the CEO of Cordico. "Firefighters need 24/7 access to comprehensive and trusted wellness tools to manage the extreme stressors and demands they face. Our CordicoFire Apps give them powerful, on-demand tools targeting critical incidents, depression, insomnia, marital problems, trauma, suicide risk, and much more. We customize the app for departments of all sizes."
Vacaville Fire Chief Kris Concepcion, who also provided his department with a CordicoFire Wellness App, said, “The Cordico app has been a game-changer for our fire department ... I have received numerous personal 'thank-yous' from our firefighters since contracting with Cordico.”
Billy Goldfeder, the former Chair of the IAFC's Safety, Health and Survival Section, has also spoken out about Cordico’s high-tech solution to strengthen firefighter wellness. “Assuring firefighters and other responders are emotionally prepared to take care of the public, when the public is having the worst day of their lives, is what keeps fire chiefs up at night – this unique and very affordable solution from Cordico benefits the firefighters, the responders, the public, and the community’s leadership. It’s truly a win-win.”
Learn more at www.cordicofire.com.