Front Range Fire Rescue Chief Michael West pictures mental health for first responders as a bucket filling with water.
Each difficult call a first responder takes, every high-stress response and struggles outside of work all add water to the bucket.
If first responders don’t have a way to dump some water out once in a while, the water, or stress, will overflow the bucket. Overwhelming stress can lead to dangerous physical and mental health issues that can impact first responders’ ability to adequately perform their duties and provide help when people need it the most.
Front Range Fire recently partnered with the David Lynch Foundation to teach agency staff Transcendental Meditation. The effort is one of many at Front Range Fire to promote employees’ wellness.
The idea began with West’s personal observations in the fire service and his own mental health needs.