Archive for February 15th, 2023

Fire Service News


FBHA Announces Release of Newest White Paper

Moral Injury in Firefighters: Wounds of the Spirit

Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance
Jeff Dill, M.A., Community Counseling, Founder and CEO
(847) 209-8208

57.6% of firefighters report having experienced a major Morally Injurious Event,
like injured children or evidence of abuse

49.8% admitted to feeling emotionally detached and isolated, long recognized
as a mental-health stressor

From 2014-2020, more firefighters died by suicide than in the line of duty

The Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance (FBHA), along with Elizabeth Anderson-Fletcher, Ph.D. and
Chaplain Mark Schimmelpfennig, M. Div., announce the release of their latest comprehensive report
designed to help educate both clinicians and firefighters on the prevalence and effects of Moral Injury (MI)
in the fire service industry.

The fire service culture has begun to recognize the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but an
emerging issue firefighters face is MI, which occurs just as often in the men and women
serving their communities. MI is a relatively new term in emergency response circles, with signs
and symptoms that can mirror those of the more widely recognized PTSD – even though they are
distinctly different ailments.

MI generally results from a major conflict in one’s moral code which causes a negative
response, such as having to prioritize who can be saved and who cannot. Education about MI
and its effects is critical to help individuals normalize their own unique, personal reactions to
Morally Injurious Events.

FBHA was founded in 2010 to track firefighter and EMS suicides across America. In 2019, FBHA
began tracking emergency services dispatcher suicides as well. Responding to unprecedented need,
FBHA now presents eight different emergency personnel focused workshops on behavioral health to fire
departments and EMS organizations across the globe. These spotlight behavioral health awareness,
suicide prevention, and resources for firefighters/EMS personnel and their families.

For more information, see the contact listed above or see the FHBA’s home page at


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Peoria Fire Department news

Excerpts from

The only fire station in Peoria to bear someone’s name is named for the city’s first Black firefighter, who paved the way for future generations.

Edward B. Gaines Jr. served as Peoria’s first Black firefighter from 1957 to 1978. In October 2022, Fire Station 4 in South Peoria opened with his name on it.

James McCoy, retired Peoria firefighter and past president of the Afro-American Firefighters’ Association, said Gaines was a “guiding light” who overcame many obstacles and broke barriers.

“You got to keep in mind the time that we were dealing with. Jim Crow laws at that time, African Americans were viewed as second-class citizens, so there were a lot of different adversities that Mr. Gaines had to go through when he came onto the job,” he said.

Gaines’ nephew said his uncle had to deal with a lot of racism from his coworkers, who believed he was not their equal, but Gaines had tough skin and persevered, showing up every day for more than 20 years.

McCoy said Gaines taught others to stay professional, no matter what.

“He would actually teach you that you got to persevere and be willing to go through things you know are not right. Because if you act up, or respond the way most people want to respond, you’re going to hurt the opportunity for somebody coming along behind you later,” he said.

Through the fire station and trucks bearing his name, Gaines will continue to inspire generations of young Black men to become firefighters,

Peoria Fire Chief Shawn Sollberger said the visibility of Gaines’ name will continue to keep his legacy alive.

Fire Station 4 is located on Western Avenue in South Peoria.

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New engine for Berwyn

From the Pierce Flickr site:

Pierce, Berwyn, IL, 38644-1; #BerwynFD; #FireTruck; #Pierce; #Enforcer;

Pierce composite

thanks Martin

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