South Carolina Firefighters Team Up With NFFF & MUSC To Curb Firefighter Suicides

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Colt Roy Photo

Charleston, SC – A project that has been in the works for a few years aimed at raising awareness for firefighter suicides has been launched. Created by the MUSC College of Nursing in partnership with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, pocketpeer.org was born. Tasked with making a mobile based interface that will put resources literally in the hands of first responders, the result was 3 unique tools that firefighters can use when they find themselves needing help. Inside of pocketpeer.org you will find: Firefighters Helping Firefighters, RIT Tools For Suicide Prevention, and EAP Tools For Critical Incidents (expected to launch in 4-6 weeks). A 4th section covering firefighter alcohol and substance abuse is currently in the works and expected sometime in 2017.

With the help of The Lowcountry Firefighter Support Team, first responders from all over the state were recruited to get in front of the camera. This helped make the overall experience of pocketpeer.org more genuine and less like many of the “cheesier” aids currently available.  Inside the RIT Tools For Suicide Prevention app, you will find 4 very realistic scenarios, all of which show some very real warning signs that could be present in a firefighter who is in a bad place. There are also links to people who can provide immediate assistance 24/7. Inside the Firefighters Helping Firefighters app you will find firefighters in the hot seat talking on camera about the stresses on the job. Here you will find a large variety of roles in the fire service from tailboard to chief level officers, even pulling from retired members.

The idea with this project is to provide a free resource that is available to any first responder at any time. There is nothing to download, no sign-up, login, or even record of your visit. This content could potentially help firefighters across not only the state, but the entire country. Currently, suicide is claiming more firefighters than the fireground by roughly double.

 

To access these tools, simply go to www.pocketpeer.org. While you can access this from any device, the site is more streamlined for mobile users.

About Colt Roy

Editor and Photojournalist for SConFire.com. Currently employed by the Department of Defense as a Firefighter/EMT. Past North Charleston Fire Department and Whitesville Fire Department. Colt is also the owner of 3 House Photography where his work that doesn't go to SConFire.com is published. You can also follow Colt's work at Heliweb Magazine where he is primary correspondent for coverage of helicopter aviation relating to helicopter air ambulance services and aerial firefighting. Colt uses Canon gear and is currently shooting with a 6D and 50D cameras, 24-105L, 70-200 2.8L, 12-24 F/4.5-5.6 EX.