VIDEO: Hundreds of people gathered Saturday afternoon at the Nampa Civic Center to celebrate the life of a longtime Boise firefighter, and before the memorial began, Boise Fire Department Chief Dennis Doan saw an opportunity to spread awareness so that similar deaths might be prevented in the future.
Boise firefighter Charlie Ruffing, 53, took his own life last week at Fire Station No. 6 while on duty, Boise Fire Department spokeswoman Char Jackson confirmed with the Statesman. The incident did not happen in front of other firefighters, Doan said.
Ruffing, a Nampa resident, served with the Boise department for 20 years and was named the Idaho Firefighter of the Year in 2008.
Ruffing had been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Injury, Doan said, but he was unable to specify when. The term PTSI is an important distinction from PTSD, Doan said, because it should not be looked at as a disorder.