For the first time in its history, Albuquerque Fire Rescue now has a behavioral health director.
AFR Behavioral Health Director Maia Dalton-Theodore will be tasked with supporting the mental health needs of the department’s firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs.
"I really look forward to continuing the ongoing mission of normalizing the ability for people to ask for help and reducing the stigma, and also to continue the work around behavioral health for this department,” she said.
AFR Deputy Chief Sean Frazier said being in this line of work can take a big toll on a firefighter’s mental health.
"If you can just picture the absolute worse of humanity, or imagine the absolute worse of humanity that what our men and women are exposed to on a daily basis. So you have the one time trauma from going and seeing a horrific scene, but you also have the chronic cumulative trauma that just builds up after seeing that over and over and over again,” he said.