Webinar - It Could Never Happen Here: Suicide and the Volunteer Fire Department

We lose more firefighters each year to suicide than in the line of duty. Yet while every fire department’s calendar is full of training for safety on the fireground, how much time is focused on mental and emotional health? In this free webinar, Hersch Wilson, volunteer firefighter/EMT with the Hondo Fire Department in Santa Fe County, NM, will discuss the impact of the firefighter’s world on mental and emotional health and the risk of suicide among first responders. Attendees will be given ideas and advice to help build a more resilient culture within their department and learn why ignoring mental health is not an option.

Hersch Wilson

Hersch Wilson is a thirty-three year veteran Firefighter-EMT with the Hondo Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He retired in 2021. He is a writer and his last book was the award winning “Firefighter Zen: A Field Guide to Thriving in Tough Times.”  He is married to Laurie Wilson, an ex-firefighter. They have two daughters and  two dogs and spend lots of time in the New Mexico Mountains. 

Faith Applewhite

Faith Applewhite started as a volunteer firefighter with the Hondo Fire Department in 2000 and became an EMT at age 16, a year later. She worked private EMS starting in 2003, became a full time paramedic/firefighter at the City of Santa Fe Fire in 2009, worked as a Community Paramedic for several years, and is now serving as an EMS Captain, with a current special interest in manual/behavioral health and affective domain skill-building.


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