PTSD Focus Of Wingham Conference

Post traumatic stress disorder is a very serious issue among first responders.

It was the focus of a recent event in Wingham that drew more than a hundred people from across southern Ontario.

North Huron Fire Chief David Sparling says PTSD has affected some of his personnel, and it really hits home.

“Whether you’re a Toronto firefighter, a paramedic in Huron County or whether you’re an on call firefighter somewhere in Midwestern Ontario, it’s a reality; in our world, we’re dealing with people we often know or are related to or are friends with,” says Sparling.

He says they’ve all experienced traumatic moments on the job that take a toll on people, but now that it’s out in the open, they’re better able to deal with it allowing more people to share their experiences and help others who are going through it.

“We have worked with our firefighters through critical incident stress and post traumatic stress methods; we’ve also had presentations for the spouses of our personnel,” notes Sparling.

Sparling says if required, they will seek outside assistance if one of their personnel have gone through something very traumatic.