Firefighters use peer support to cope with stresses of the job

TOLEDO Sylvania Township Firefighters have had some major tragedies over the last week. A teen drowning, a fatal car accident and a critical injury from a house fire. The stress of these events can really hit rescue crews hard. That's why there is the Sylvania Firefighters Peer Support program. Firefighter Derek Meyer is the lead in this effort to help crews work through the stress of events like this. "It's been tough across the board, all of our shifts and everybody deals with it differently. We just see a lot of things that the general public doesn't get exposed to and trying to figure out healthy ways to cope with that has been really tough."

The Peer Support Program involves national training that promotes healthy ways for rescue workers to get through the stress. "We take a lot of home, and our families have to deal with our behaviors, whether it's anger or frustration, or just not being able to interact well because we can't spill that to them." Kurt Baumgartner is new to the fire department and says the peer support program helps a lot. "If we have issues, we can have counselors come in, or we can talk about it with some of counselors who are actually trained."

Kyler Omey says while crews don't let the trauma distract them, while they're in the field, working a rescue, it sometimes sets in after the run is over. "This helps you deal with it and see that you're doing to best you can to help out that person."