Ryan is a firefighter in Washington, DC. His experiences with work and life demonstrate a need for a global approach to mental health. We can’t only worry about the calls we need to be in tune with all aspects of life for a firefighter. Knowing what trials and tribulations a firefighter’s living through and dealing with allows us as peers and leaders to better serve our people.
Ryan dealt with cancer and death in an up close and personal manner. He was thrust into a caretaker role at a point in time, he could never have imagined being necessary. He discusses the realities of caring for a loved one as cancer rages and death approaches. There are moments of beauty and grace sprinkled among the indignity of death. He doesn’t pull punches when sharing the uglier side of cancer and hospice. He also shares how this experience has changed his approach at work and the reactions he has had to certain calls.
Separating the two worlds, firehouse and personal life is difficult in the best of times. However, when tragedy strikes it’s damn near impossible.