Health & Safety

July 20, 2012

Luke experts train local firefighters on suicide prevention

Tags:
Story and photo by Senior Airman Melanie Holochwost
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Sharon Kozak, 56th Medical Operations Squadron family advocacy outreach manager, and Senior Airman Brett Chapman, 56th MDOS mental health technician, brief firefighters on suicide prevention Monday at the Glendale Training Center.

A sudden increase in the firefighter suicide rate resulted in two experts from Luke Air Force Base spreading their suicide-intervention knowledge throughout local fire departments in the Phoenix area.

Senior Airman Brett Chapman, 56th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician, and Sharon Kozak, 56th MDOS family advocacy outreach manager, teamed up in May to start the program. Since then, they have shared their knowledge with more than 460 firefighters.

The three-hour, informative and interactive briefing has received plenty of positive attention, Kozak said.

“At first, we only focused on educating firefighters in the West Valley,” she said. “But recently, we have been contacted by fire departments in Scottsdale who have requested the training. And when we finish training firefighters, we are moving on to police officers.”

During the briefing, Chapman and Kozak went over several suicide statistics.

“There were five firefighter suicides in the Phoenix area last year,” he said. “So far this year, there have been seven.”

This may be linked to the amount of stress servicemembers and firefighters face on the job.

According to Kozak, most suicide victims don’t want to die.

“They just want the pain to stop,” she said. “And, when it doesn’t, they feel hopeless. They think the only way to stop the pain is to end their life.”

This is when family, friends and coworkers may see some red flags, Chapman said.

“These indicators can be direct or indirect pre-suicide statements,” he said. “The suicide victim may also start giving away possessions or make a will. Usually when they make the decision to end their life, they feel relieved, which suddenly elevates their mood.”

When someone notices these red flags, they need to take action, Kozak said.

There are three steps to helping someone who shows signs that he may be considering suicide.

“The first step is intervention,” Chapman said. “Just listen and be supportive. Show you care and be genuine.”

Next, ask about suicide and treatment.

“These questions are very hard, but you have to ask them,” he said. “Be direct, but not confrontational. Ask: Are you thinking about suicide? Do you have a therapist? Are you seeing him? Are you taking your medication?”

Then, get help.

“Call 911 or (800) 273-TALK (8255),” Chapman said. “Most importantly, don’t leave them alone.”

 

Top 10 stressful jobs with the lowest pay

1.  Military
2.  Firefighter
3.  Emergency medical technician
4.  Social worker
5.  Counselor
6.  Taxi driver
7.  Probation officer
8.  Hotel concierge
9.  Import/export agent
10.  News reporter

Source: 56th MDOS

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Center ‘brings it’ with stellar programs

The Luke Air Force base youth and teen centers offer a wide range of educationally enhanced programs, instructional classes, and events providing a safe and fun environment supervised by caring and well-trained staff. The center is also affiliated with the Boys & Girls Club of America and the 4-H Club, which provide various youth programs...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents Feb. 16 through 22: Tickets Security forces issued citations for nine moving violations and one nonmoving violation. Traffic-related incidents Feb. 17: Security forces received a report of a civil arrest for DUI from Goodyear police involving an active-duty Airman. The Goodyear police initiated a traffic stop...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces squadron handled the following incidents Feb. 9 through 15: Tickets Security forces issued citations for seven moving violations and one nonmoving violation. Traffic-related incidents Feb. 12: Security forces responded to a report of a gate runner at North Gate involving a nonmilitary affiliated civilian. Security forces initiated a traffic stop, detained...
 

 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents Feb. 2 through 8: Tickets Security forces issued citations for four moving violations and three nonmoving violations. Traffic-related incidents Feb. 2: Security forces responded to a report of a minor two-vehicle accident in base housing. Both vehicles sustained damage. There were no injuries. Feb. 3: Security forces...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents Jan. 26 through Feb. 5: Tickets Security forces issued citations for 10 moving violations and one nonmoving violation. Traffic-related incidents Jan. 26: Security forces responded to a report from an individual of damage to private property in the base exchange parking lot after returning from the...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents Jan. 19 through 25: Tickets Security forces issued citations for six moving violations and three nonmoving violations. Traffic-related incidents Jan 22: Security forces responded to a report of a weapon identified during a random vehicle inspection at North Gate outbound lane. The nonmilitary driver self-identified as...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin