ABC4 News shines light on the ‘Weight of the Call’

Local News

ROY CITY (ABC4 News) – ABC4 News crew set up shop at a Roy Fire Station 31 for a very special edition of our Pop Up Studio Tour.

In a 5-part series, ABC4’s Jason Nguyen has worked to shine a light on the “Weight of the Call”—the emotional toll that goes along with being a first responder.

Three Utah first responders have died by suicide over the last few months.

Jason Nguyen and Emily Florez are joined by various law enforcement members to discuss what they’re doing to combat the mental health crisis plaguing many in the profession.

Greg Rynders with the state Critical Incident Stress Management Team is also a 30-year veteran of Sandy City Fire Department. Rynders said in the ’70s officials began to notice “burn out” among paramedics. The then paramedic school coordinator and EMS director were determined to solve the problem.

Guy Dansie, Utah EMS Program Director, explains why the state believes peer support is a better approach to help first responders deal with chronic stress.

Detective Broc Gresham with Roy City Police Department shares that he’s experienced the weight of the call after 19 years in law enforcement.

Davis County Sheriff Kelly Sparks explains why it’s important to normalize mental health. “We care about our first responders.”

Matthew McFarland with the Unified Fire Authority explains how the peer support program works within his agency. McFarland says a select group of personnel within the agency are put through training to help their peers identify problems and seek other avenues to get help.

Dave Ermer and Chief Jeff Comeau, with Roy City Fire Department, explain how welcoming service animals into their department has opened the channels of communication among personnel.

If you or someone you know needs help, there’s the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. For more information, visit utahsuicideprevention.org.

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