Modern day firefighters benefit from high tech equipment and regular training but those measures do little to shield them from their number one killer: suicide.
"Our firefighters experience terrible things. Terrible things that they can't share with their families because it is just going to depress their families, quite honestly," said Los Angeles City Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas.
The department's labor union, the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, on Monday took a major step towards suicide prevention for 3,500 members and their families.
They converted an old fire station in Arleta to become the United Firefighters of Los Angeles Center for Health and Wellness, which will provide space for counseling and classroom training.
Its staff will include mental health specialists who will be available around the clock, plus an additional 100 peer counselors in the field.