posted on Feb, 3 2011 @ 08:28 PM
Thanks for the follow-up posts OP. Can't say as an expert what is happening in your situation. My thoughts though as many others can be taken with
a grain of salt, since I don't know all the details surrounding the scenario. The information you have disclosed with us has been very
I believe it's stress related. I'm not sure if your husband being a firefighter also has to do medical calls as well or not. Some departments do,
some don't. Depends on the size of the municipality I suppose. Anyway, if he does do "all-risk" I think that can explain it. Responding to
medical emergencies (traffic accidents, burnt bodies, heart attacks) can be devastating to say the least. That might not be the only thing. Seeing
the havoc that a fire causes to a building as well as to the families involved can put quite the toll on the human psyche.
I was a firefighter once upon a time ago. Wasn't structure, but forest/wildland. We did do structure protection at times, but majority of the time
was putting out forests and whatnot. On a few occasions we were asked to help with other emergencies. To say that any of my experiences weren't hard
on my psyche is only a partial truth. We are told to leave work at home. But sometimes we need an outlet for what we experienced that day. Here's
a little story of one stressful situation I went through that has changed me.
I was on a fire in the middle of nowhere fighting a fire on a hillside. We were securing a section of line heading up the hill to hook around it and
put the finishing touches on it. Anyway, at some point towards the top of the hill one of my crewmembers took a good tumble down the hill due to a
seizure. I was first to arrive and offered the best assistance that I could provide. Others with better first responder training started showing up.
Granted we only had like 6 or 7 people on the fire, which put us in a predicament of getting this guy to safety without jeopardizing our own safety.
Miles from any town or road, we had to call in life-light. Anyway everything went smoothly, which I accredit to our training and ability to keep a
level head during such a crisis. But the thing that I remember most and that has affected me the most wasn't seeing a close friend tumble, or
twitching like a fish. Although those were pretty traumatic. The thing that affected me was when he came out his seizure/unconsciousness, he opened
his eyes. And his eyes stared right at me. First thing. And I wasn't sure what the hell was going on behind those eyes. Just some crazy eyes
staring at me deeply and intensely.
I talked with him after he had recovered and told him about him scaring me with the "crazy" eyes. And he doesn't even recall, even though he can
recall everything that was said at that point and everything that went on. It was creepy to say the least.
To me, it's those little things that start adding up and while in most cases nothing traumatic happens, it's an extra burden of stress that can lead
to tension headaches and eventually to a person snapping. This happened to a close friend from a department in town that did all risk (medical,
structure, wildland, biohazard). The guy was amazing with his knowledge in all the realms. He conducted first aid training to our new recruits and
was mind-blowing with his tactical decision making under stressful situations. Anyway, long story short. He seemed fine until one day he snapped and
took a gun on himself and fortunately was a bad shot (not being humorous). He has a wife and a couple kids that now have an ex-provider that needs
assistance all the time.
I think you need to be understanding with your husband. Maybe tone down the conspiracy things when talking with him. And be his anchor, which I
believe you have done so far to your best abilities, considering the circumstances. Sometimes its tough to think straight when everything in your
world has been turned upside down. The only thing you want to do is get back to what you know and do what you are used to. He wants to get back to
work, but at the same time, couldn't his work be the basis for the problems? I would recommend talking with his peers (co-workers, chief) and try
to see if there was anything leading up to this. See if he had been on any gruesome calls in the past. Firefighting is a tough job as you probably
already know. Being a hero takes a toll on even the most solid individuals. Besides the physical demands, it requires the most stringent mental
demands as well. Making decisions in an environment where a simple mistake puts everyone at risk takes a toll. I hope you and your husband and
family make it through these trying times. Good luck and be patient and understanding.