Charlotte Fire joins the American Veterans Hall of Fame to prevent suicide

With the constant alarm sounding at a fire station, firefighters often don’t have time to deal with one grim experience before tackling the next.

“Our peer support team have all been through something very difficult and each of them has a diverse experience they can share, and some have been through untold things,” Starnes said. “But each of them has the courage to come in and listen and say, ‘I know how you feel’ and mean it.”

Therapy can be an effective tool to restore or maintain mental health. Discussing difficult experiences and emotions with a trained therapist can be difficult, but not processing them can make those experiences and emotions last longer.

In addition to the Peer Support Team, Charlotte Fire staff members have a wealth of behavioral health resources available to them. From the Employee Assistance Program, which provides free, confidential services, to the North Carolina Firefighters Peer Support Network, and more, the effort to ensure healthy mental well-being is paramount to the Charlotte Fire Chief Reginald Johnson.

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