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The pandemic is highlighting the sacrifices our front-line care-providers make on our behalf. I worry that some may fall once the crisis wanes and the stress hits those who’ve been forced to carry-on while most in the general public stay home.
Prior to the crisis we’re all experiencing, BC first responders, upwards of 45%, were already in jeopardy. A 2017 study revealed this reality that first responder, stress-injury survivors already knew. (Carelton et al, 2017).
The latest reports show that one in four paramedics in Canada will develop PTSD in the course of their careers, and the suicide rates among paramedics are five times the national average.
I’m a former BC paramedic living with chronic illness as an outcome of service. I survived my own suicide attempt in 2015.
I dedicate this post to those who’s lives are lost to suicide.
I dedicate this post to those left permanently disabled by traumatic-stress/chronic-stress induced brain injury who struggle every day with PTSD, Depression, and often as well, addiction.
Still alive or tragically lost: These are the fallen I wish to remind our society exist.
Our system for compensation failed many first responder families in BC. Including my own. My life is destroyed and the struggle of poverty imposition only exacerbates living for all so negatively harmed in BC’s past.
I stand for the fallen: We can not let such harm fall upon the lives of those who dedicated their duty of care to every citizen in BC.
To all First Responders in BC: Thank you for your service.
To all First Responder Families in BC: Your sacrifice is acknowledged.
For those whose suicide succeeded: May you rest in Peace knowing you will not be forgotten.
I feel your pain and I thank you for your service. My father was a paramedic as was my uncle and two of my neighbors. Both of my neighbors died in active duty one of which while on duty with my uncle. The trauma that first responders deal with everyday is comprehensible to most of us. It lives with them each day and the scars never fully fade. The lives of their families, friends and neighbors are forever effected as well. I would love to see more empathy, support and understanding by the general public of what kind of toll this takes on first responders. I would like to see more respect and better pay for the sacrifices these people make for all of us.