How does Ryan Shines help support our Firefighters?
We’re building a community at Ryan Shines that recognizes that Firefighters are stronger when they face their daily internal reality together and head-on.
We want this community of trust to be available to every Career&Volunteer&Retired Firefighter in America.
We want to show them that Firefighters don’t ever have to live or die alone.
So we will join their band of brothers and sisters from across the state to form a support network for the mental and physical health of their fellow Firefighters by providing trained assistance through a “Firefighter Peer Support” Team.
Let me tell you the story about a Fire Chief in Alabama. His name is Mark Sealy and he oversees 24 fire stations in Mobile.
His best friend, a fellow Firefighter, suffered and died from PTSD.
All he knew was to self-medicate.
That’s the day when the Chief really ‘got it.’
His friend had survived every emergency that Firefighters face but his ‘internal Civil War’ took him out.
So, Mark not only knows everything first hand about firefighting but he has also been at the center of personal tragedy himself.
And he’s so open and eager that our common dream of ‘Peer Support’ take root and grow.
In other words, we ‘drank the kool-aid.’
I wish I could clone him and send him to every fire station in the country.
This is what we are developing in our own circle of influence.
We have created our first of many statewide Support Teams called “Alabama Firefighter Peer Support” at Ryan Shines.
Now, I am not fluent in ‘Firefighter,’ but I do understand personal trauma and the aftermath (PTSD), and the importance of finding friends you can trust.
You’ll find men and women with whom you can speak in a kind of ‘shorthand’ because they intimately know the words and the feelings that have been burned into their brain since their first fire.
Every day I wish Ryan was here. But when I look at all we’re doing together, he is no less than the engine driving us, and his is the Shining that lights our way.
BTW-(If this is something that you would like to support, please visit us at www.ryanshines.com or follow us on FB and IG @dawnraymondhirn)