There were 103 reported suicides by firefighters nationwide in 2017.
It's a startling number, according to the Ruderman Family Foundation, which last year published a study of first responder deaths that found suicide, not deaths in the line of duty, are the greatest peril firefighters and law enforcement officers face.
That's why the Carlsbad Fire Department has begun to focus on how to provide support and resources to its personnel via Critical Incident Stress Management training.
"This is a dangerous job, but suicide should not be part of it," said Carlsbad Fire Department Chief Richard Lopez. "We want to do what we can to help my men. We can't be oblivious to the issue."
According to the New Mexico Department of Health, Critical Incident Stress Management — or CISM — refers to programs and interventions designed to address the mental, emotional and physical stress of repeatedly witnessing and responding to traumatic events.