Heal yourself first: Cleveland Heights fire chief sounds the alarm on mental health

  • Source: WKYC-TV NBC 3 Cleveland
  • Published: 06/26/2020 09:52 PM

The coronavirus pandemic has brought added stress to our first responders. And sadly it comes as we are losing more of these heroes to suicide. Now a local fire chief is sounding the alarm on mental health in his profession. He should know. Last fall, he planned his own death, but fortunately got the help he needed. And now his mantra, and message to others: heal yourself first. Firefighters and EMS workers are heroes. They are courageous and strong in a job that takes a toll. They see images they cannot un-see. “We have more first responders killing themselves. Double the amount that die in the line of duty.” Dave Freeman joined Cleveland Heights Fire and EMS in 1993, after a spending a few years in the military.


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