Weber Fire District Creates PTSD Support Program For Retirees

Dec 19, 2019, 7:29 PM | Updated: 7:41 pm

HUNTSVILLE, Utah – The Weber Fire District Board of Trustees announced the department has created an association to help fire district retirees deal with the impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Jim Truett said he recently learned about the impact PTSD can have on even retired firefighters from a friend.

“He was telling me about going through an intersection, and remembering when a young boy was killed there,” Truett said. “This stuff is real. He was dealing with it. This big, bad firefighter, tough firefighter was in tears and I got emotional, his wife was emotional.”

Truett, who is Huntsville’s mayor, also serves as the Weber Fire District Board of Trustees’ treasurer. He said he was surprised to hear there was no help for retirees like his friend.

“These guys are dealing with the emotion, and they never had a resource for getting help back when they were serving as firefighters,” Truett said.

Weber Fire District Chief Paul Sullivan said he remembers those times when tough calls and emotions just weren’t talked about.

“I remember when I was a young paramedic, many years ago, I had a 2-week-old cardiac arrest patient and at the time I had a 2-week-old child,” Sullivan said. “I remember going into the restroom. I had my cry, came back out, dried my tears and moved on and didn’t want anybody to know that occurred.”

Truett recently shared his concerns with fellow board members and got unanimous support to create an association for retirees of the fire district, which could then hold support groups. An employee assistance program has already been put in place to help find free counseling for those who need it.

“They put their lives on the line for us,” Truett said. “And not only their physical health but their mental health. And helping them deal with that, we owe it to them.”

The program will be modeled after one that is already in place for current employees of the fire district. Firefighters who serve as peer supports, reach out to employees who may be struggling, as well as families they’ve helped in calls who might also need support. Lindsay Worman is one of two peer supports at Weber Fire.

“I’ve been in the darkest of dark, and it’s nice to have somebody there, and know that there’s people there for you,” Workman said. “Some people you know, the can be happy like nothing’s wrong, and then the next day they could take their own lives.”

Truett is hopeful that other agencies will catch onto their idea. As far as he can tell, there is no other program for first-responder retirees in the state of Utah.

“We’re hoping that the word will get out there and that this will spread because there’s a lot of people that have come forward here lately, that are dealing with PTSD,” Truett said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Healthy Mind Matters

Lehi seventh grader took this gun to his middle school...

Lindsay Aerts

Lehi school resource officer, middle schooler prevented Utah student’s planned suicide

The Alpine School district said a seventh grader who brought a gun to his Lehi middle school last November, planned to take his own life. A school resource officer and a fellow student stepped in.

10 days ago

Hope Hero Foundation Logo on key chain...

Karah Brackin

Utah’s Hope Hero Foundation is saving teen lives

Discover how The Hope Hero Foundation empowers teens and prevents suicide. Be the hero of your own story!

22 days ago

mother and daughter sit at a table...

Emma Benson

Eating Disorders Awareness Week: How to recognize the signs and get help

Carrie Jackson said when the pandemic hit, her daughter, Emma, started showing signs of an eating disorder.

2 months ago

Lauren Hess has struggled with depression since she was a teen. Seasonal Affective Disorder affects...

Emma Benson

‘You can actually find joy again’: Why Utahns are at higher risk for seasonal affective disorder, how to cope

Seasonal affective disorder affects about 10% of Utahns, according to a Huntsman Mental Health Institute doctor.

3 months ago


Tamara Vaifanua

Free SAFE2FEEL conference teaches coping, confidence-building skills

Mental health experts say there’s an epidemic of loneliness. 

3 months ago

(Laura Warburton)...

Emma Benson

‘Because of Hannah’: Utah mom who lost daughter to suicide provides resources for others

Laura Warburton remembers her daughter, Hannah, as a warrior.

5 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Weber Fire District Creates PTSD Support Program For Retirees