April 18, 2024
John Rose Oak Bluff

John Rose Oak Bluff Lists a Few Strategies Firefighters can Follow to Deal with the Mental and Emotional Strain of their Work

Firefighters not only perform a firefighting function, but also render rescue and emergency services, all of which are inherently stressful. As John Rose Oak Bluff says, working in hazardous and unpredictable environments often takes a mental and physical toll on firefighters. Being around smoke for long hours, seeing the destruction of property and loss of life, all; of it can be emotionally and mentally draining. Hence, firefighters need to follow certain strategies that help them to cope with such situations.

John Rose Oak Bluff underlines strategies firefighters can follow to manage the mental and emotional burden of their work

Many fire departments have put greater emphasis on the physical health and safety of firefighters in recent years. In addition to improved protocols for the use and care of PPE, as well as mandatory use of seat-belts, many fire departments now also have regular health screenings for all members. However, adequate importance is still not given to the mental health of firefighters. These professionals are at a high risk of depression, anxiety, stress and other mental health-related problems. In fact, many firefighters die from suicide each year. Hence, to take care of their mental health, fire fighters should consider following these strategies:

  • Prioritize sleep: A large number of firefighters suffer from the issue of sleep deprivation. Not only do they get interrupted from sleep by emergency calls, but firefighters can also become hyper-alert and hence even the smallest sound can wake them. Moreover, dorms at fire stations are often too cramped and poorly ventilated, which hinders sound sleep. Getting white noise machines and air purifiers can help firefighters to get better sleep. They also must prioritize sleeping on the days they do not have work.
  • Improve the diet:  Extra salt, sugar, caffeine and other food additives may lead to impaired sleep and increased stress, and hence it is better to keep their levels in check. While firefighters do not have to follow a very restrictive diet, they should try to stay aware of how the things they consume impact their lives.
  • Exercise outdoors: Exercise is a good stress reliever. As firefighters are required to stay fit, working out is important for them. However, rather than exercising just as an obligation, they can make the endeavor fun and exciting by going for a run in the park or taking a hike in the woods.
  • Remember the pets: Spending time around animals is a good way to manage stress. In fact, certain fire departments have developed programs under which trained therapy dogs help support firefighter mental wellness.  If one has a pet dog, they can take them out for a hike or run. Spending more time playing with a pet cat would also be a good idea. People who do not have pets of their own can always choose to volunteer to help out at the local animal shelter.

As John Rose Oak Bluff says, to get their minds off the emotional and mental strain, firefighters need to develop interests beyond the fire service. Engaging in creative activities can especially provide an outlet for work-related stress and trauma.

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