East Georgia State College’s Statesboro campus recently hosted a workshop presented by the Statesboro Fire Department entitled Saving Those Who Save Others. This workshop focused on identifying and treating depression and suicide among public safety personnel. Counselors explained that first responders deal with life or death situations and those traumas can affect them in their personal lives. Organizers hoped commanders and colleagues would learn how to spot the signs.
“We can direct them to counseling and other resources so things don’t get bad and get out of hand and they can continue to serve their community,” said Battalion Chief Merritt Kearns of the Statesboro Fire Department. Kearns is also a part-time instructor at EGSC.
EGSC’s Fire and Emergency Services Administration program was proud to help sponsor this important event. Sixty-five individuals from across the region were in attendance on the EGSC-Statesboro campus.
The Statesboro Fire Department received a grant from the Firefighters Behavioral Health Alliance for this workshop on the alarming problem of firefighter and emergency responder suicide. The number of suicides annually exceeds the official line of duty deaths among emergency responders, and this workshop served to bring awareness to this issue.