STRESS

In these trying days and call volumes going up, the stress that everyone is under is extensive. Not just the for Firefighters, but the Paramedics and Battalion Chiefs a well. 

We need to address the Fire Mechanics.

Every time the tones go off for any call to which the Firefighter responds generates stress. The apparatus to which they are assigned, either an Ambulance or an Engine, expect it to start and perform. If it doesn’t and they are delayed and something bad should happen, it always falls back on the EVT/Fire Mechanic and the question is always why? I know if something bad should happen all of us would feel that pain and stress. I know it’s a mechanical device and things happen. It could be something small on Monday that was not reported because the crews didn’t want to switch out or like we always hear, “let B shift handle it, etc.”.  It could be as easy as a starter dragging on Monday but Friday it quits. So the engine won’t start. Now there is a delay. Something like this is not our fault, but the stress level trying to explain why can be greater than anyone thinks.

I know people handle stress differently, but in these times if you’re feeling stressed reach out to someone and get help. It could be anyone, friends, co-worker, family member, anyone. We are working in a very stressful time right now. Make sure when you work inside an ambulance stay safe, mask up, glove up, even in the Engine, not just the ambulance. If the vehicle was on a call with a possible COVID-19 case be safe, you never know.

Our motto is:  “Without us they Walk” is so true and the other one is “fire mechanics were created so fireman have heroes, too”. We are the unsung heroes of every department. The EVT’s are the last ones on anyone’s minds until something goes wrong. We get no accolades for what we do and really no one understands how complicated the apparatus have become. So, with that please be safe and if you feel stressed call someone. Seek help.

I am here if you need to talk and I am sure others are available too. I am writing this because I have taken a couple of calls about this situation and felt it necessary to share. I am thinking if we have a training day that is open maybe we can get someone in to talk about stress relief and how to take care of ourselves in situations like this. Something like we did when we had the first aid class. If this is of interest to you please do not hesitate to let me know.

With that, stay safe everyone.

Rick Nogueira
President North section

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